Saturday, 19 August 2017

Guest Author & Blogger Janice Wald of An Insider's Guide to Building a Successful Blog.

Janice Wald is an author, a freelance writer, a blogger and a blogging coach. She blogs at Mostly Blogging.com where she shares tips for bloggers and marketers. Wald has been included in over thirty expert interviews and interview panels. Her blog was nominated for the 2017 Most Informative Blog Award at the London Blogger’s Bash. She recently published AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL BLOG (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M4QOD41) available on Amazon.
 
She has agreed to answer some questions for a 4Q Interview.


4Q: You have written An Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Blog. Please tell us how this came about.
JW: It was always my dream to be a published author. Of course, I never believed in my wildest dreams it would come to fruition.
After I started blogging for about a year, people suggested I combine my blog posts into an ebook. I couldn’t decide if it should be about blogging or social media since my blog post articles contain tips for both.
To find out what the members of my email list would be interested in reading a book about, I polled them.
They indicated they’d be interested in reading a social media tips ebook, so that became the plan.
However, the longer I spent compiling my posts, the clearer it became that there was tremendous overlap between the two topics.
For example, I wrote an article on the best times to blog on social media. Would that go in a social media tips book or a blogging tips book?
My publisher solved the dilemma by changing the title and combining the topics into one book. It was originally going to be called YOUR ONE-STOP GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA.
She actually gave me several choices that fit the combined content. I chose AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL BLOG.
I hope it’s okay if I give my amazing publisher a shoutout here. I’d recommend Lois Hoffman to anyone planning on publishing an ebook. Her contact information is lois@happyselfpublisher.com
 

 
4Q: Your website www.mostlyblogging.com provides valuable information for bloggers. Tell us about it.
JW: Thank you so much for calling my tips valuable.
My mission is to help bloggers. Although it started out to help new bloggers, many of the bloggers that started blogging when I started writing are no longer new.
Therefore, my tips have evolved. Instead of solely being for new bloggers, they are now for bloggers of all experience levels.
Many bloggers go on to market their goods and services. For that reason, in addition to blogging, social media, SEO, productivity, and technology tips for bloggers, I also write marketing tips for bloggers as well.
I realize many of your readers are writers. I also offer writing tips at my blog. Of course, there is overlap. Bloggers are writers, and many authors are required to have blogs.
 
 
4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote.
JW: I would like to share one that relates to my blogging passion.
When I was younger, I considered various professions. I was torn between being a lawyer like my father or a teacher. My father told me lawyers needed extremely strong writing skills. Not having enough confidence in my writing led me to choose teaching. I thought I could teach writing as an English teacher and share my passion for writing that way.
After my children went to college, I completed my Master’s Degree in Education. One of my university professors told me I was the strongest writer in the program!
Confidence in hand, I began my blog and have been blogging ever since I graduated.




4Q: If you could tell us one important thing about our blogs, what would it be?
JW: Can I share two? The first is patience is vital to the success of any blogger. Trust me. I do not say this lightly since I am not the most patient person. If we want success, we’d prefer to have it sooner than later. Other than the rare exception, it takes a great deal of work over a long period of time to build up a blog. Success, for most of us, does not come over night. As soon as I heard that blogging is a marathon not a sprint, I relaxed and enjoyed the ride.
My second tip is related to the first. Part of that work toward blogging success involves networking. Network by commenting, network by Googling top blogs in your niche and networking there. Try to be among the earliest commenters. When you network, suggest people check out your blog. Often, it just won’t occur to people unless you mention it.
 
Allan, thank you for having me on your blog as your guest.

 
Thank you Janice for sharing your thoughts on the Scribbler.


For those interested in contacting Janice to help with your blog, go __http://www.mostlyblogging.com/blog-critiques/____ 
Link to my blog: http://mostlyblogging .com
New subscribers who sign up through this link receive a PDF of free blogging tools http://www.mostlyblogging/enjoy-my-guest-post-heres-what-to-do-next/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrsPaznanski

 
 
 


A huge thank you to my visitors that drop by the Scribbler. Please leave a comment before you go.



Watch here for more details about the newest Drake Alexander adventure novel coming soon!




Saturday, 12 August 2017

Guest Author Vashti Quiroz-Vega. 4Q Interview & An Excerpt

The Scribbler is pleased to have Vashti as our guest this week. It is her second visit to the SBS. She is an accomplished author and an award winning blogger. On her first visit she shared a short story - A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance. If you missed it you can go here 

This week she has been kind enough to share her thoughts in the 4Q Interview as well as an excerpt from her just-released novel - The Fall of Lilith

****Until the 15th of August, Vashti is offering her novel for the crazy low price of $0.99.  Go here!
 

4Q: You recently shared a cover reveal for your latest work. Tell us about The Fall of Lilith.

VQ: The Fall of Lilith is an epic tale with dark elements about angels for an adult audience (18+). It is the first installment of my Fantasy Angels Series. The characters in this story are angels depicted in a very unique way. It is a story of many twists, surprises and a bit of controversy.

Structurally, The Fall of Lilith is divided internally into two books, BOOK I – Heaven and BOOK II – Earth in one volume, so you get two books for the prize of one.

This is the BLURB

 

“I merely assisted you in doing what you desired all along.”

 

So says Lilith, the most exquisite of the angels. The two most important pledges an angel makes to God are those of obedience and celibacy, and dire consequences await any who break their oaths.

At first, the angels are happy in their celestial home, learning and exploring together. As they grow older, though, Lilith begins to question these pledges, which now seem arbitrary and stifling. Her challenge of the status quo leads to disagreement, jealousy, and strife among her peers. As the arguing and acrimony grow, lines are drawn and sides are chosen. Is war inevitable?

Filled with robust characters, incredible landscapes, and exciting action, The Fall of Lilith is an epic tale of seduction, betrayal, and revenge.

Free Will involves asking difficult questions and making hard choices, choices that require strength and sacrifice. These decisions can tear apart friendships and cause rifts between allies.

 They can even threaten the foundations of Heaven.


 

4Q: What is it about the supernatural that inspires you?

VQ: I grew up in a religious home, attended private school and went to church regularly with my parents. I read many religious books. I also read many fairy tales and mythology books. From a very young age I was intrigued by supernatural beings, especially angels and I often wondered what they were like, since the bible doesn’t say much about them. The combination of all of this is what inspired me to write The Fall of Lilith.
 

4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote.

VQ: I began reading, writing and storytelling at an early age. I remember making comic books and selling them for a quarter in elementary school. My History teacher caught me; she gave me a look and asked me what I was doing. When I showed her the comic book I had made she looked through it and told me to wait until after class to sell it and then she told me to increase the prize because I was selling it too cheap. Ha, ha!
 

4Q: Please tell us where you are most comfortable writing your stories and what does the near future hold for Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

VQ: I enjoy setting up my laptop on the dinning room table. It’s a nice open area and I have a great view of my back yard (I live on a golf course).

Right now I’m busy trying to spread the word about The Fall of Lilith. I am also working on the 2nd instalment of my Fantasy Angels Series tentatively called, Dracúl, which follows where The Fall of Lilith ends.
 
 
 
 
An excerpt from The Fall of Lilith.

Before He created the universe, God was present. Alone and bored in Heaven, He decided to create angels––celestial beings to serve as companions. When God formed them, He made them perfect. He then endowed them with free will so they might choose their own way, making them somewhat unpredictable––and more interesting.  

There are three realms of Heaven: Heaven Most High where God resides, Metá Heaven, and Floraison, the lowest realm of Heaven where God placed the angels. Different dimensions separate these realms and only God traveled between them as He pleased. 

The angels were child-like when God first made them. A delicate brilliance emanated from within each one. They were formed with two small white wings, which carried them across the vast expanse of Floraison quickly and without much effort. God clothed the angels because He desired to show distinction between the superior celestial beings and the other creatures that roamed the lowest realm of Heaven. There were many strict rules in God’s system of law, as He held angels at higher standards than any other creature. The two most important vows of an angel were obedience and celibacy. 

Although the young angels bore many similarities early on, they developed distinct personalities and traits due to their free will. God also promised each angel one or more special ability, which in time they would develop and learn to control. What divine skill they would acquire and when was as individual as they were.  

There was no need for a sun, moon, or stars to give Floraison light. God’s splendor lit the lowest realm, and the skies were beautiful beyond compare. There was no true darkness where the angels lived. In Floraison’s unit of time there was brillante, when the light was at its most intense and nightglow when at its dimmest. There were many trees and meadows adorned with colorful flowers that emitted fragrances evoking happiness and vigor. Magnificent creatures abounded, large and small––perfect in every way and pleasing to the senses. Some of these creatures were prototypes for beings God created on different planets, and others were unique to Floraison.  

The River of Life, a pure river with crystalline healing waters, flowed between realms and proceeded from God’s throne room. The chamber was accessed through a portal that led to Metá Heaven where God’s presence could be reached. Only by His expressed permission could one cross this portal. This hall was aglow with the most exquisite light ever seen, and it was in the throne room God passed laws and judgments.  

There were fruit trees, root vegetables, bush berries, and many more edible delights in Floraison, but the angels did not require food. These delicacies existed to teach them self-discipline since these foods were delicious, producing energy and much pleasure. They were only allowed to partake of the food during celebrations and after strenuous workouts. It required God’s consent. The young angels spent their early days getting to know one another and learning about God’s laws, nature, animals, the cosmos, and themselves.  

Lilith and Michael delighted in their home, for Floraison was exquisite and full of joy, most of the time. 

“I accept rules because they establish guidelines for action and conduct,” Michael said with a solemn expression. “Rules create stability, discipline, and promote safety. Could you imagine what Beelzebub would be like had he no rules to follow?” Lilith glanced at Michael, the corners of her lips fighting a smile, her eyebrows slightly raised. Michael’s mouth twitched and soon they both burst into laughter. 

 “Beelzebub would be a complete mess without rules. I know that,” Lilith said. “But still, I am not fond of the many rules set by God for our kind. You are an upholder while I am a questioner.” 

Michael puckered his brow. “How could one question God?” 

Lilith ignored his question. “I cannot wait for the day I discover the divine talents He has promised. I hope my abilities are godlike.” Perceiving the power of God, evident in all things, awakened in her mind an aspiration that consumed her. She was fired by the desire for divine power. 

Michael looked at her sideways. “You have always told me that you longed to be close to God––to be first in his eyes. How do you expect to rise to Heaven Most High if you question God’s laws?” 

“God does not want us to follow his laws without question. That is why he gave us free will, so that we may follow our own path.” 

Michael gazed into her peculiar yet beautiful eyes, one blue iris and one brown iris. “Perhaps one day I shall come to understand you.” 

“Sooner rather than later––I hope.” She gazed up at him through her long, dark lashes, giggled and grabbed his hand. “Come, let us go to Sonnoris.” Lilith enjoyed the marvels in Floraison all the while imagining the day she would create wonders of her own.
 
 
 

Thank you so much for being our guest this week Vashti. Best wishes for your continued success with this series.
 
 
 
 
 

The pleasure is all mine, Allan. I am grateful to be here. Thank you for helping me spread the word about my new release, The Fall of Lilith.

 

Please visit these sites to discover more about Vashti and her books.







 
 
Photo credits:
Angel - josette.BlogSpot.com
River - Howard Storm planetzion.wordpress
 
 
Thank you dear readers for visiting today. Please leave a comment and make me smile.
 
Watch here for information regarding my newest novel to be released this fall.
 
 

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Two Boys, One Wagon & a Secret - by A. Hudson Part 2.


Thanks for dropping by the Scribbler. I posted Part 1 of this story last week and if you want to check that out, just scroll down to the bottom of this post.
Can you imagine what it would be like if you were ten years old and came across a parked car in the field? Wouldn't you be curious too?


Two Boys, One Wagon & a Secret - Part 2.
(copyright is held by the author)

And then Beans says, “We didn’t do very good in school did we? My folks keep telling me I can do better. I hate studying, I only like arithmetic… and comics.”

The topic of school is a tender one for Chops. The new teacher has an obvious dislike for him. He’s not a fast thinker like Beans; he needs to hear complicated things repeated to understand them and their instructor is short on patience. The rural school is one room, thirty-three kids, eight grades. He claims that he cannot devote personal time to each student and ignores those with learning disabilities. There’s no help at home; the Sangster’s as a whole would get a C-.

“I don’t think my folks care; we’re all kinda dumb. I wish I could like arithmetic, but I love reading. And I really like your comics.”

“You’re not dumb. I’ll help you with the arithmetic.”

The offer is sincere, both bashful before the banter continues.

Another time, Chops says, “You like Mary Jane Baker, don’t you?”

The quiet across the road causes Beans to look back at Chops, who stops walking. His face is so red that you can’t see his freckles. He’s so angry, he’s sputtering,

“D-d-d-don’t say that again. It’s not true.”

Beans starts laughing, realizing from the reaction that it is true and ambles through the ditch singing. “Phil and Mary Jane up in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G...”

“And don’t call me Phil.”

Beans is not listening and scurries up onto the road. Waving to his partner, he yells out, “C’mon, let’s head into Mr. Harnett’s. He’ll be expecting us. If we hurry, we can still do the other way – at least down to the old gravel pit, there’s always some there.”

Chops forgets Mary Jane for now and hurries to catch up as Beans heads into the bachelor’s lane.

“Yeah and there’s always some of those soggy, rubbery things – at least one. Did you ask your dad yet what they are?  Mine told me to forget about it, that I’d know soon enough, whatever that means.”

“No, but I asked my brother. They’re called condoms, but Dave says everybody calls them rubbers.”

Chops catches up to his friend as he ponders the new information, trying to visualise a pair of boots that small. The lane they’re on is dirt and winds through a dense wooded area for a couple hundred feet until it opens onto huge fields on either side. The rich soil is green with new shoots of wheat perfectly aligned; running parallel to the road on one side while in the other field grass grows will, along with purple clover, white daisies, yellow buttercups, legumes and other herbaceous plants that will eventually become fodder. The ground is still damp from yesterday’s rain; the bouquet of worked earth permeates the air, causing the boys to stop more than once to breathe deeply and comment on how good it smells.

 The road eventually splits in two. The lane to the right narrows as it continues for five hundred feet, ending at a neat white farmhouse, two storeys with a verandah in the front and a one-storey kitchen in the back. The yard is thoughtfully groomed, but there are no flowers. Mr. Harnett lives alone. His sister and her husband live down the other road.

A large barn and two smaller out buildings are arranged strategically behind the house. The wooden shingles are weathered as grey as storm clouds; the doors are painted bright red. The property reflects the owner’s pride.  A brand new Chevy Apache sits beside the house, facing them as they approach. The truck’s double headlights seem to stare at them. A tall bushy haired man is polishing the chrome bumper. Without turning around he says, “I was wondering what you two rascals might be up to; you’re usually here before this.”

Wiping his hands on the cotton cloth, he stands to face the boys. Mr. Harnett towers above them and if not for his perpetual smile, he might seem foreboding. Instead, he’s a person happy with his lot. The three chat for a bit, the man teasing the boys and the curious boys asking about the new truck. Mr. Harnett soon sends them off to the front steps where he has placed this week’s empties.

“Goodness, your wagon is full. Think you can fit some more in there?”

Chops is toting the bottles to the cart. Beans waves back saying, “We’ll carry them if we have to. Thanks a lot Mr. Harnett; you’re a swell guy.”

Harnett grins as he watches the lads tuck some of the bottles in upside down between the others. Beans ends up carrying three as they head out the lane. Both boys gaze back at him briefly and he gives them a wave before returning to his polishing. Chops tugs on the wagon as they come up the slight rise that leads to the wooded area. When they are about twenty feet away from the woods, the sun that had been hiding behind a cloud bursts out and glints off something metallic at the edge of the field, causing both boys to look up. They stop where the hay field meets the woods. Tire tracks tell them a vehicle has driven across the culvert and through the uncut grasses. The field extends for a good distance, the land is slightly hilly and except for the antenna, the vehicle is hidden from their view. The ten year olds are filled with curiosity. Chops says, “Those tracks weren’t there when we came in.”

Beans sets the bottles he’s carrying down beside the wagon.

“And we know it isn’t Mr. Harnett.”

“Could be his brother-in-law.”

“Naw, his truck was at the house, I saw it across the way.”

The boys are given to wild imaginations; rumours they hear are given more credibility when something mysterious enters their energetic minds. Chops is the reader, his thinking more creative.

“Suppose it could be whoever stole Jason Lawson’s horse?”

The fact that it would be the unlikeliest of hiding places did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm. Instead, it fuelled on the possibility of intrigue. Beans is the action one.

“We should go see.”

“I don’t know, Beans. What if it is a thief or worse, thieves?”

“C’mon, we’ll just sneak along the woods and see. If it’s strangers, we’ll come back and tell Mr. Harnett. He’d want to know.”

“Okay, but you go ahead and be quiet.”

They pull the wagon closer to the tall spruce that borders the road. The boys enter the woods, keeping the field on their right. Watching where they step so as to be quiet, they approach to the edge of the field. A womanly shriek stops them dead. It sounds like she’s in pain. It startles the two so keenly that Chops almost wets himself. He quickly turns around to head back, but is stopped by a Beans’ hiss. “Wait! It sounds like a woman and she could be hurt.”

“I don’t care. I’m scared. Let’s go.”

“Don’t be a sissy.”

Beans moves forward slowly, Chops reluctantly following. When they hear voices and groaning, they drop to their knees. Crawling toward the sounds, they come to the rim of the field. A white Pontiac is parked at the crux of the right angle of field and woods. The nose of the car faces them, both doors wide open. From below the passenger’s door, tangled in the long grass, are four legs. The two feet pointing up have coloured nails and something pink and lacy hangs from one ankle. The feet pointing down are shod with black shiny shoes, dress pants scrunched about the ankles, toes digging in the dirt. The car rocks with the same rhythm as the thrusting of the heels. The boys don’t understand what is happening. They are shocked at what they see yet mesmerized by the moaning.

A piercing yell almost causes Beans and Chops hearts to stop, scaring them so intensely. They hold their breath. They want to hug the earth but are frozen by what they see. The car is heaving back and forth more rapidly. A man’s head appears in the windshield, bent unbelievingly back, his eyes tightly shut, lips stretched into a grimace, spittle flying from his mouth as he exclaims, “Yes baby, yes baby, yes baby…”

Suddenly everything stops, the head disappears, the feet stop moving, the car settles down. They boys stare at each other in total disbelief.  The two innocents have yet to experience an orgasm and for the life of them cannot fathom what they have just seen. There is mumbling coming from the car, nothing they can discern.  Chops stares at Beans now, wondering what they should do.  A womanly voice urges softly but commandingly, “Okay, get off me now.”

The lads are stunned when they see the man stand up before bending down to retrieve his trousers. It’s Horatio Glendenning, their schoolteacher. A young lady sits up in the car, tugging at the pink fabric around her ankle, placing the other foot gently through. Standing behind the man, the woman wiggles the tight panties into place. When she moves aside to straighten her dress, her face is in full view.  It isn’t Mrs. Glendenning. They don’t know who it is. Chops is started by a soft blow to his shoulder. Beans begins to creep away. “Let’s get the dickens outta here.”

They are almost running when they get to the wagon. Beans tosses the three empties he’d been carrying into the ditch. “We’ll get those next week.”

Standing behind the wagon, he gestures for Chops to start pulling while he pushes. The boys are soon scooting down the wooded lane. Veering to the left the two head directly home, ignoring whatever empties might be had along the way. There are too many questions. Their innocent minds can’t understand why the woman had her underwear off, why the car was shaking, or why the man was repeating himself. They figure that their teacher was punishing the woman for something.

The conversation drifts when they turn into Beans driveway and head for the garage. Unloading the wagon in silence, each boy is preoccupied with his own thoughts. Looking to Beans for the answers, Chops asks, “What are we going to do?”

“Nothing right now. I’m going to talk to my brother Dave about this.”

Even though he was only fifteen, Dave, like his brother and father, is big for his age. He made it a point to “run into” Mr. Glendenning at the Farmer’s Market one Saturday morning in July. And when the boys started back to school in the fall, they never failed an exam. Chops is the first one in his family to get an A.





Thanks for visiting the Scribbler. Hope you enjoyed meeting "Beans & Chops".


Please watch for details of my newest novel coming soon.