The Great Raid

The Great Raid: Rescuing the Doomed Ghosts of Bataan and Corregidor

Author: William B. Breuer

Strong>Paperback: 304 pages (also available in paperback, audio and e-formats)

Publisher: Miramax (May 22, 2002)

Synposis:

Before General Douglas MacArthur could fulfill his stirring promise of “I shall return” and re-take the Philippines from Japanese control, a remarkable rescue mission would have to take place. Captured American soldiers had been held at the notorious Cabanatuan prison camp for more than 33 months. Emaciated and ill from brutal mistreatment, a mere 511 POWs remained from the 25,000-strong force that MacArthur had been ordered to abandon on February 23, 1942.

On the morning of January 28, 1945, a small band of Army Rangers set out on an audacious and daring rescue effort: to penetrate 30 miles into Japanese controlled territory, storm the camp, and escape with the POWs, carrying them if necessary.

William B. Breuer recounts in searing, meticulous detail based largely on interviews with survivors of the hellish battles of Bataan and Corregidor; the horrors of the Bataan death march; and the harrowing efforts of guerilla fighters. A classic of its kind, The Great Raid tells the full story of this episode with a breadth and depth of detail that goes far beyond other accounts including Hampton Sides’s best-selling Ghost Soldiers. The Great Raid is a thrilling true-life adventure story and an inspiring testament o American heroism and grit. And as retired four-star General Barry McCaffrey asserts in his introduction, The Great Raid is an “important book for our current military and political leaders to read.”

Review:

greatraidWhen I watched The Great Raid I had no idea it was originally a book. William B. Breuer’s The Great Raid is a perfect example of the book being SO MUCH BETTER than the movie. And keep in mind that I thought the movie was fabulous! While the movie focuses in the actual raid to rescue the POWs in the Phillipines, the book The Great Raid contains much more backstory, going back to the days before MacArthur left the Phillipines. It follows the soldiers when they are still holding out against the Japanese, their eventual surrender, the Death March, their moving to various POW camps as well as Japan, the Filipino natives and other residents who supported the POWs, the guerilla groups in the jungle and the eventual rescue of the POWs and the aftermath. This is a riveting story that will make you wonder at both the cruelty and the kindness that man can show to others.

At the time, this was a part of military history that many politicians and military leaders must have wished would disappear from the public consciousness. In fact they did the best they could to keep these events under the radar. But it did happen and is something everyone should know. I recommend that anyone interested in World War II or the power of humanity read this book.

Giveaway and 5Ws with Elizabeth Maria Narnjo

The Fourth Wall

Author: Elizabeth Maria Naranjonaranjobook

Paperback: 235 pages (also available in e-formats)

Publisher: WiDo Publishing (June 10, 2014)

Synposis:

When Marin was little and monsters chased her through nightmares, she learned to weave her own dreams. Her mother called the lucid dreaming a gift, and when an accident takes her mother and leaves her baby brother an empty shell, Marin uses this gift to spin a new reality for herself. One without time or sorrow. A world without memory.
But just when Marin thinks she is safe in her make-believe fantasy world, the monsters come back and her dream turns to a nightmare. Something in the dream doesn’t want Marin to wake up.

In order to heal herself and her family, Marin must face the truth she’s forgotten and conquer what lies behind the fourth wall.

5Ws with Elizabeth Maria Naranjo :

WHO
Who came up with your marvelous book cover? The girl on the cover looks so familiar…is it you? And if not did you purposely choose someone who looked like you?

by Evie Carpenter

by Evie Carpenter

It sure is a beautiful cover, and I’d love to take credit for the photo, but the girl is not me. WiDo Publishing’s talented cover designer, Steven Novak, chose the picture. I was asked for input on the cover, with the understanding that the graphic artist could choose to use my ideas or not. I wanted a simple design and in mostly black, with perhaps an image of shattering glass. I was so pleased when I saw what Steven came up with.

WHAT
What do you dream about?

Most of the dreams that I remember are related to fear. I wonder if that isn’t the case for most people. It could be that since those dreams are more disturbing, they tend to wake me up and that’s why I remember them. I’m sure I have all sorts of nice dreams, but why would I want to wake up from those, right? And the ones you sleep through are harder to recall. That’s why people who keep dream journals start by setting their alarm an hour or so early to interrupt their dreams. Then they write them down. Which is actually the first step toward becoming a lucid dreamer—people who can recognize when they’re in a dream.

WHERE
Where did you get the idea for a book that hides the truth behind dreams?

Marin came to me first; I could picture her and I knew that she was dealing with something terrible. I thought, imagine if a girl that age and in that situation had the ability to lucid dream. She could use her dream to compartmentalize, leaving the conflict in one part of her mind and taking refuge in another. And what would be the cost of splitting yourself that way?

WHY
Why did you decide to abandon poetry and focus on fiction?

Poetry seemed so tightly structured that it was intimidating; there are lots of ways not to do it, and I felt inadequate trying. And I love the flow of prose. The enjambed lines in poetry are difficult for me—I hate trying to break up sentences that way. It’s gorgeous when done right, and I admire poets very much; it’s just not my form. What I do love about poetry is stripping an idea down to its essence, and I try to do that with flash fiction.

WHEN
When will we be reading another one of your novels? Can you give us a sneak peek?

Sure! I’m working on a novel about a 12-year-old boy who runs away with his best friend on a search for the friend’s father. The father is a volcanologist who goes missing in the field. There’s also a light paranormal element to that one. I hope you’ll be reading it in 2016; I’m not a very fast writer and I’m a little obsessive/compulsive about editing, so it could take some time.

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Review: Haatchi & Little B

OK, let me start by saying I am always very reluctant to read dog books of watch dog movies. Because everything’s all happy and furry and adorable and then BAM the dog dies. Seriously. Old Yeller. Marley and Me. Sounder. My Dog Skip. I think my dad, who took the grandkids to see My Dog Skip when they were toddlers, is still traumatized by the experience of two sobbing little girls in the movie theatre. So I saw the cover for Haatchi & Little B and of course it was so sweet (that’s how they suck you in) I had to get it. But I was very uneasy.

Haatchi & Little B

Author: Wendy Holden 

Hardcover: 224 pages (also available in e-formats and audiobook)littleb

Publisher: Bantam Press (October 28, 2014)

Synposis:

The moving and inspirational story of the friendship between ony boy and his dog.

On a bitterly cold night in January 2012, Haatchi the dog was hit over the head, and abandoned on a railway line to be hit by a train. The driver saw the adorable five-month old Anatolian Shepherd moments too late. Somehow, the terrified puppy survived the blood loss from his partially severed leg and tail and managed to crawl away to safety.

Fortunately, Haatchi was rescued, although vets couldn’t save his leg and tail. A Facebook appeal brought him to the attention of a couple of kind-hearted dog lovers, Colleen Drummond and Will Howkins, who are also the dad and stepmum of Owen (known to his family as Little B for ‘little buddy’). One look at Haatchi’s expressive face told them all they needed to know and the lucky dog moved into the Howkins’ family home just six weeks after almost being killed. Owen, now aged eight, has a rare genetic disorder which causes his muscles to tense permanently. Largely confined to a wheelchair, he was withdrawn and anxious and found it difficult to make friends. But when Owen awoke the morning after Haatchi arrived he immediately fell in love with the severely disabled rescue animal who would, in turn, rescue him.

This book tells their inspiring true story — one astonishing little boy and the very special dog who has changed his life forever.

Review:

So, I cried for three days. I cried in the lunchroom, I cried in the car, I cried in bed. Every time I picked up this book I could feel myself tearing up.

This was an incredible story of two survivors: Haatchi and Little B. They both had very troubled lives and struggled on despite medical problems. No, not just struggled but enjoyed life and even thrived. This is an interesting story on the surface: the rare disease, the abuse of a poor puppy, the creation of a family. But it also inspirational. Learning about this family’s life and how they face adversity will make you look at your life in a different way. It is a book that will make you appreciate so many things about your life you never even thought about before.

I was much more interested in the part sof the book focusing on Haatchi and Little B than those revealing the romance between Will and Colleen. But I think this book will appeal to many readers. Animal lovers of course. But also people living with medical conditions, those who enjoy inspirational stories and anyone with a child in their life.

A Fickle Wind

A Fickle Wind

Author: Elizabeth Bourne

Paperback: 264 pages (also available in e-formats)ficklewind

Publisher: A Fickle Wind (June 24, 2014)

Synposis:

A rags to riches story, chronicled initially through theeyes of a child born into war-torn Britain who refused to accept that thelackluster life she knew would be all she could possibly expect. The escaperoute was via Canada, where the impossible seemed possible and her hopes werenourished and thrived. These were the transitional years, so different from theEngland into which she had been born, and preparing her for what was to come?alife well lived, in the miracle called America.

A page-turning journey with strong characters strewn with joy, sorrow, laughterand tears; a first novel that is compelling to the last sentence.Inspirational: when you don¹t know where to turn and difficult challenges areblown in by a fickle wind, hold on for dear life and you will weather thestorm. You will awaken one morning to an azure, cloudless sky, and a zephyrwill gently stir the leaves and open your heart to a new beginning.

Author Bio:

Elizabeth Bourne left England as a young woman and now divides her time between California and Canada. Travel is still an important priority but she also enjoys participating in family life with her two daughters and her grandchildren. The seed to write was planted many years ago but it was not until recently, when Bourne had the uninterrupted time to devote to it, that she decided to fulfill her long-time ambition to be a writer. This is her debut novel.

Review:

Although I have always been interested in World War II history this is the first novel I’ve read that addressed the story of what happened to the English children who grew up in the shadow of war and its aftermath. It was a part of history I had never even considered before reading A Fickle Wind. This novel has an interesting voice that reads more like a memoir and covers several decades.

Review: The Pieces We Keep

Author Kristina McMorris is an old favorite of mine. She visited Words by Webb with her first two books which I loved — maybe because they both took place during a favorite time period of mine: World War II. Click on the title to read what I have to say about both books and enjoy an interview with Kristina.

Letters from Home

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

The Pieces We Keep

Author: Kristina McMorriscover_the_pieces_we_keep_01

Paperback: 464 pages (also available in e-formats, audio)

Publisher: Kensington (November 26, 2013)

Synposis:

In this richly emotional novel based on amazing true accounts, Kristina McMorris evokes the depth of a mother’s bond with her child, and the power of personal histories to echo through generations…

Two years have done little to ease veterinarian Audra Hughes’s grief over her husband’s untimely death. Eager for a fresh start, Audra plans to leave Portland for a new job in Philadelphia. Her seven-year-old son, Jack, seems apprehensive about flying–but it’s just the beginning of an anxiety that grows to consume him.

As Jack’s fears continue to surface in recurring and violent nightmares, Audra hardly recognizes the introverted boy he has become. Desperate, she traces snippets of information unearthed in Jack’s dreams, leading her to Sean Malloy, a struggling US Army veteran wounded in Afghanistan. Together they unravel a mystery dating back to World War II, and uncover old family secrets that still have the strength to wound–and perhaps, at last, to heal.

Intricate and beautifully written, The Pieces We Keep illuminates those moments when life asks us to reach beyond what we know and embrace what was once unthinkable. Deftly weaving together past and present, herein lies a story that is at once poignant and thought-provoking, and as unpredictable as the human heart.

Review:

The Pieces We Keep is two stories, one from modern times and one from the World War II era, told in alternating chapters. (Kudos to the publisher for using a different font for each story making it much easier to know instantly “when” you are, even if you’re coming back to reading after a time away from the book). At first, it seems as if these two stories have nothing in common and you’ll wonder why author Kristina McMorris chose to put them in the same book. Then gradually, almost unnoticeably, McMorris weaves the stories to each other like some magical literary knitter. At the end, it’s impossible to understand one without the other. This intertwining aspect alone makes the story worth reading. You’ll find yourself on a never ending cycle of “just one more chapter” as you bounce back and forth between the two worlds, needing just one more chapter to reveal a bit more about how the two worlds are united.

If asked how McMorris told this story, I would say “emotion”. Emotions in this story run the gamut: terror, joy, regret, resignation, anger, hope, confusion, doubt. For me, this was one of McMorris’s strongest gifts, the ability to realistically write all these emotions, so much that you can feel right along with the characters. After this roller coaster of emotions and the hint at the supernatural, the final chapters which wrap up so many questions seem almost like a let down. Of course, like the characters you might find yourself accepting the more logical explanation while wondering… And I love a book that leaves you pondering unanswered questions, don’t you?

I recommend The Pieces We Keep as a great, can’t-stop-reading book. Prepare for a few late night reading sessions.

Review: Mildred Pierce

Mildred Pierce is one of those movies I’ve watched at least a dozen times (every time I stumble across it on the classic movie channel). The Joan Crawford version, not the Kate Winslet miniseries from a few years ago (although I’ll get around to that one eventually). Can you believe, after all that viewing, I didn’t even realize it was origianlly a book? I thought it was just a screenplay someone typed up in a studio bungalow in the 1940s. Color me embarrassed! So when I saw the reissued book (complete with a Kate Winslet cover) I had to snap it up.

Mildred Pierce

Author: mildred pierce20140630-story.html”>James M. Cain

Paperback: 304 pages (also available in hardcover, e-formats and audio)

Publisher: Vintage (1989 — first published in 1941)

Synposis:

Mildred Pierce had gorgeous legs, a way with a skillet, and a bone-deep core of toughness. She used those attributes to survive a divorce and poverty and to claw her way out of the lower middle class. But Mildred also had two weaknesses: a yen for shiftless men, and an unreasoning devotion to a monstrous daughter.

Out of these elements, Cain creates a novel of acute social observation and devastating emotional violence, with a heroine whose ambitions and sufferings are never less than recognizable.

MPmovieReview:

Since I’ve seen the movie I thought when I opened Mildred Pierce I would know just where each page was leading me. Boy, was I wrong. It seems (no surprise) the movie strayed from the original book, although it kept the basics, and several rich characters were left out of the movie version. Am I glad I finally took time to read Mildred Pierce!

James Cain is a descriptive writer, yet he uses descriptions you never would have thought of using before. That makes reading Mildred Pierce a gift. As you read his writing something will hit you over the head and you’ll think “why did no one ever say that before?” With this type of writing each character is firmly set in stone in your mind. They seem so alive! You can hardly believe he’s writing about people that only exist in his mind.

Mildred Pierce (the book and the woman) also keeps you guessing. Which man will win Mildred over? Who will come out on top in the constant battle between Mildred and her daughter? Usually it’s only thrillers that keep me up reading late into the night, promising myself “just one more chapter”. But Mildred Pierce will grab you and won’t let you go until her story is told.

Go Cubbies! Go Margo!

All-Star Game and Break CONTEST and BOOK SALE
Busch Stadium by Phil www.flickr.com
It’s the middle of July. Baseball fans everywhere know that means it’s time for the All-Star Game and short break from regularly scheduled baseball games across the United States. For non-loving baseball peeps, you can just keep on enjoying your summer as you have been: curled up with your favorite book, sipping cold lemonade, and relaxing by the pool. However you want to celebrate this week, please also join in the fun with young adult author Margo L. Dill as she holds a contest and book sale! 
Why during All-Star Game Week?
Great question! Margo’s young adult novel, Caught Between Two Curses (Rocking Horse Publishing, March 2014), is the story of 17-year-old Julie Nigelson, who is cursed. So is her entire family. And it’s not just any-old-regular
curse, either—it’s strangely connected to the famous “Curse of the Billy
Goat” on the Chicago Cubs, hence the All-Star baseball week celebration.

Julie must figure out this mystery while her uncle lies in a coma
and her entire love life is in ruins: her boyfriend Gus is pressuring
her to have sex, while her best friend Matt is growing more attractive
to her all the time.
Somehow, Julie must figure out how to save her uncle, her family’s future, and her own love life—and time is running out! 

What have people been saying about Margo’s book?
Here are a few lines from a couple reviews on Amazon.com:
“This book is one of the best I have read in a long time. Once I opened it up I could not stop until I was finished.”  ~Janet Cannon
 “A baseball mystery and a contemporary, heartfelt romance, CAUGHT BETWEEN
TWO CURSES is sure to score big with the young teen audience!” ~Cathy C. Hall

“I definitely recommend this to young adults, but
really any adult because it’s a story that keeps you interested and
will stay with you long after you finish.” ~Amie Merz
Okay, so what is the contest and the sale???
photo by DonkeyHotey flickr.com
Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for.  First the sale: 
The Kindle ebook is…99 cents July 14/15, $1.99 July 16/17, $2.99 July 18/19, and back to $3.99 July 20.
The print copy is for sale ON MARGO’S WEBSITE (http://margodill.com/blog/books/) and is $5.00 off the cover price, so only $6.95 (+$3.00 for shipping and handling). She will autograph it and gift wrap if it’s a gift, plus include a bookmark for free. More details at the link above. (The print version is also on sale for $10.76 (10 % savings) on Amazon.com.) 
 If you are an Amazon Prime Member, you can check out the e-BOOK for free at anytime!
The contest:
Go to the Rafflecopter form below this post–all you need to enter is your name and e-mail, which is how I contact you if you win one of the prizes. Do at least one of the tasks below and then click on the entry button to enter the contest. You can do as many tasks as you want! If you are confused or have any questions, please feel free to e-mail Margo at margo (at) margodill.com. Tasks range from leaving a review of Caught Between Two Curses to announcing the contest and sale on a social media page to uploading a photo of you in baseball gear. See below for more.
Margo L. Dill
The prizes:
One winner with a United States mailing address will win a $25 gift card to either Applebee’s, TGI Fridays, Starbucks, Panera Bread, or Olive Garden (winner’s choice). One runner-up winner will receive a free 3000-word critique from Margo (Editor 911)–this can be anywhere in the world as long as the document is in English. The contest goes from July 14 to July 20. Winners will be announced on July 21! 
What are you waiting for?

So, join in the fun and while you’re entering the contest or buying a sale copy of Caught Between Two Curses, join in a rousing rendition of  “Take me out to the ballgame. Take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks. I don’t care if I ever get back. . .” 

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The Portable Writers’ Workshop

Gayle Trent (a.k.a. Amanda Lee) writes three different mystery series: the Cake Decorating Mystery series, the Myrtle Crumb series and the Embroidery series. So far, I read Murder Takes the Cake, Killer Sweet Tooth, When Good Bras Go Bad, Claus of Death and The Quick and the Thread. And her latest in the Embroidery series: Thread End was just released this summer. But Gayle has also released a new type of publication this summer: The Portable Writers’ Workshop.

Author: Gayle Trent portablewriters

E-Book: 115 pages

Publisher: Grace Abraham Publishing (June 26, 2014)

Synposis:

This portable writers’ workshop is designed to give you all the information you’d receive at a regular writers’ workshop without the hassle, inconvenience, and expense. Part one of the workshop is directed at novel writers. I’ve written eight (and counting!) novels in Obsidian’s embroidery mystery series under the pseudonym Amanda Lee. I’ve written four novels in the cake decorating mystery series—two for Bell Bridge Books and two for Simon & Schuster. I’ve written a few standalone novels, and I even had my own publishing company for a few years. While operating the publishing company, I managed to get my mystery imprint’s line featured in Woman’s Day magazine in October of 2005 for a giveaway. Part two is designed for freelance writers. There is a great need for content and a variety of places that hire freelance writers. You might think that a slow economy would make it difficult to find freelance work. In fact, the opposite is true. Some companies downsize and eliminate full-time employees and then hire freelance or independent contractors to work on a project-by-project basis. Part three is a collection of articles I’ve written as features or blog posts, and I thought you might find them helpful.

Review:

Have you ever wanted to pick a successful writer’s brain? The Portable Writers’ Workshop gives you that opportunity (OK, it’s a little one-sided. It’s not like you can actually ask her questions but…). Gayle Trent gives everything she’s got after her experience writing a dozen books. Perhaps the best part of it is the personal touch. Instead of just saying “Do X.” Gayle tells you “Do X. See, here’s where I did it. Get the idea?” For her examples, Gayle uses mostly her writing and ocassionally the writing of others (or tells you who to read to see examples of what she’s encouraging you to do. Reading The Portable Writers’ Workshop will take you from reading as a reader to reading as a writer — you will find yourself dissecting what you read to see what the author did and why — and hopefully applying it to your own writing.

Gayle is strongest when talking about fiction writing but her section on article writing (particularly in how fiction writers can apply it to their life) is also interesting. If you are a beginning writer and want an afternoon’s read to open your eyes to a few things about the world of novel writing, this is the book (e-book) for you.

Princess Elizabeth’s Spy

If you missed my review of the first book in the Maggie Hope series you can catch up here. And this is a perfect time to jump on the “Maggie Hope” bandwagon because Susan is released the fourth book in the series this month: The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent.

Princess Elizabeth’s Spy: Abooks_PES Maggie Hope Mystery

Author: Susan Elia MacNeal

Paperback: 384 pages (also available in e-formats and audio)

Publisher: Bantam (October 16, 2012)

Synposis:

As World War II sweeps the continent and England steels itself against German attack, Maggie Hope, former secretary to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, completes her training to become a spy for MI-5. Spirited, strong-willed, and possessing one of the sharpest minds in government for mathematics and code-breaking, she fully expects to be sent abroad to gather intelligence for the British front. Instead, to her great disappointment, she is dispatched to go undercover at Windsor Castle, where she will tutor the young Princess Elizabeth in math. Yet castle life quickly proves more dangerous—and deadly—than Maggie ever expected. The upstairs-downstairs world at Windsor is thrown into disarray by a shocking murder, which draws Maggie into a vast conspiracy that places the entire royal family in peril. And as she races to save England from a most disturbing fate, Maggie realizes that a quick wit is her best defense, and that the smallest clues can unravel the biggest secrets, even within her own family.

Review:

I have an entire shelf of books that are just World War II related (non-fiction). I also like fiction set in the area as long as it isn’t too cliche (and you know it’s just too easy to slip into that Casablanca mode). So I like World War II novels with a twist. Oooh, does the Maggie Hope series have a twist. A young English girl, who spent her childhood in the United States comes back to good old England just in time to get caught up in a war. Timing is everything, isn’t it? In the first book, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, Maggie starts our as (surprise) a secretary but eventually it becomes clear that her nosiness and smarts might make her better suited for something a little more exciting.

And it looks like she’ll get it in Princess Elizabeth’s Spy…or not. This book gives a great feeling of something bubbling under the perfectly normal surface (or as normal as a country at war can get). Maggie’s not only in a different country but a whole different stratosphere as she rubs elbows with people with titles, castles and elegant pedigrees. I enjoyed that there was more than one puzzle in play for Maggie to wonder about. The first part of the book is a puzzle: trying to figure out who did it (no, I’m not going to tell you what it is) and what’s their motive. Then — bapow! — the action takes up the last third of the book and it is a rollercoaster ride. It’s a great “how are they going to get out of that?” chain of events.

Perhaps the most incredible part of this book was the appearance of Queen Elizabeth. You know her right? The lady with the large boxy pocketbook, the impeccably matching dresses and coats, the ladylike hats? Except she didn’t burst into the world as Queen. At one time she was a child. A child! And that’s who she is in this book. Annoying, endearing, even lovestruck. And it’s an incredible experience to see another facet of this woman we all know playing such an important part in Maggie’s next adventure.

And one final comment: whoever did the book covers for the Maggie Hope series, LOVE THEM!

Review and Giveaway: The Author Training Manual

The Author Training Manual: Develop Marketable Ideas, Craft Books That Sell, Become the Author Publishers Want, and Self-Publish EffectivelyThe Author Training Manual: Develop Marketable Ideas, Craft Books That Sell, Become the Author Publishers Want, and Self-Publish Effectively
by Nina Amir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stop by The Muffin to enter to win a copy of The Author Training Manual here.

Last week my husband painted our living room with nary a grumble. How did I manage this miraculous feat?

Well, I promised to go through my bookshelves and weed out some of the books. Like most writers I am slightly addicted to writer how-to books. Reading them, jotting notes in the margins, marking pages with Post-It notes. Because one of those books will contain the magical advice that makes me an award-winning author. Due to the deal I made with my husband I did donate a few of my writer books to a used book sale. But I couldn’t part with Nina Amir’s How to Blog a Book and her latest The Author Training Manual.

One of the best things about The Author Training Manual is that Nina manages to be both friend and teacher. One the one hand she’ll telling you “here are the things I did wrong,” “here are the things I thought” and most importantly, “here are the changes I made.” As I read I’m saying, “OMG, I felt that same way! I did that same thing!” So you look at Nina, now a successful author, and say “Hey, if I do what Nina did I could become a successful author too!”

But Nina isn’t all about being a friend. She’s a tough teacher too (reminds me of a few nuns I had in years past). Happily, The Author Training Manual is very specific. She doesn’t just tell you to check out the competition. She tells you step by step how to do it. Nina doesn’t leave you to your own devices (writers do tend to procrastinate). Set deadlines! Answer these survey questions! Follow this book planning outline. It’s like writer boot camp! Perhaps it is more accurate to call it an author boot camp. The Author Training Manual helps you to plan both how to create the best book possible and how to become the most effective author. It helps you plan in an orderly way while your book is still just an idea. In fact, it way help you decide which of your ideas should become a book.

The Author Training Manual is crammed with extras: planning exercises, sample book proposals, questionaires, and additional reading lists for each chapter. Trust me, The Author Training Manual is one book I will never get rid of–even if my husband promises to paint the entire house!



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