Monday, March 11, 2013

   

    Okay, as promised, I am celebrating MS Awareness Week by offering a FREE download of “Once in Every Generation” through Amazon’s Kindle program. The offer will last five days.
   Here are the links to the USA and UK Amazon sites, but I know it’s available in whatever country Amazon books are sold. http://amzn.to/d0MUEz (USA) - http://amzn.to/V8PX9S (UK).
   I’m not computer-savvy enough to know how it works, but I’m told you don’t even need a Kindle to download it. Do it for you, or mention it to a friend. Hey, it’s FREE!
    The caveat is that it is not about MS. It’s about relationships and learning how to face challenges (it just happens that a main character gets diagnosed with PPMS, so the reader learns about the disease). It can apply to any physical or mental challenges one may face.
   Enjoy! And, please remember that I love to get feedback. Read on!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Beauty of Being ...

Twenty-five years ago, when my daughter who has special needs, was a newborn, I was given this attached story. It really moved me and altered my thinking.

I can also relate it to my dealing with multiple sclerosis. There is no doubt that it pertains to almost any disability or life-altering disease.

Take a moment to read it. See if you are as moved as I was.




"The Beauty of Holland"


"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability-- to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

"When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous trip--to Italy! You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You even learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

"After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The flight attendant comes in and says, 'Welcome to Holland.' 'Holland?!?', you say. 'What do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy. I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.'

"But there has been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

"So you must go out and buy new guide books and learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you never would have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandt's.

"But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all talking about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, 'Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned.'

"But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland"

--Emily Perl Kingsley

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Oh, what a ride....



And so, it is complete. No, not my second novel, but the Amazon 5-day giveaway. I had reservations about joining the Kindle Direct Program Select, because it required exclusivity to my book (only regarding e-book status). I found that to be a pompous request from a colossus of a company. But, after hearing from other authors that they successfully had their novels downloaded in the hundreds, and to celebrate its 2-year anniversary of publication, I decided to give it a try.

Five days later, I can report that I am tickled pink that I made that decision. There were 14,860 downloads! Of course, I’d be tickled bright red if those downloads were with a royalty. Nonetheless I am thrilled that my novel is now in the hands of 14,860 readers, who may have otherwise not have read it. Yes, it was FREE and people love getting things for FREE. I do too. Will 14,860 people read it on their Kindle? I doubt that. But, just suppose 500 of those people actually get around to reading it – then that means 500 more people will have learned about multiple sclerosis. (Though the novel is NOT about MS, one of the main characters receives a diagnosis of MS and the reader learns about the tribulations we MSers may go through daily.)

With the giveaway over, the novel is available to download once again for $4.99. In addition, it is in the Amazon Lending Library and available to their Prime Members for 90 days, exclusively. People have already begun to “borrow” the book, and they are still buying the paperback. With a giant push, I have added to the platform that I started building October 2010 when the novel first was published (in publish-speak a “platform” is an audience).

Now exclusively in the hands of Amazon, I feel a great sense of relief, in that I can really concentrate on my second novel. Yes, I still have to promote, but not on a daily basis. This affords me the luxury of working on this second novel.

My next novel is so different than my first, that I may have to warn some people before it goes into publication. I really stepped “outside the box” of my comfort zone with this one. It is partly historical fiction/partly contemporary. There is murder/suspense/mystery, and it is loosely based on a real person who survived the Holocaust. I promise: no vampires or zombies.

I can only hope that the platform I built will continue to follow my writings. And, I sincerely want to thank all of you who downloaded the novel and made it an Amazon Bestseller. Oh, what a ride it has been!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

DAY FOUR (Only 1 more day) UPDATE: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store) - which means only 15 more to pass before becoming #1!!!!! Downloads: Amazon USA 9644 Amazon UK 207 Amazon DE 1 (Germany) Amazon FR 1 (France) TOTAL as of 6:30 am = 9853. I think I may hit 10,000 by end of day! Wow, wow, wow! And, to think I was against the whole idea. Silly me. Remember, you do not need an ereader to download it. PC, smartphones, Ipads, tablets... Thanks to everyone who has downloaded it thus far. Share and tell your friends! Here's the link: http://amzn.to/d0MUEz

Saturday, September 22, 2012

CORRECTION: The ebook version of "Once in Every Generation" is NOW downloadable for FREE on Amazon for 5 days beginning today. You do not need a Kindle to download it. You can download it to your PC or other e-devices (Kindle for PC is free - and I have no doubt that Apple devices have their own version). This is in CELEBRATION of its two year anniversary of publication! After the free 5-day period, it will be available exclusively to Amazon Prime Members and their Lending Library for 90 days. Maybe by then I will be ready to launch my second novel. Here's the link: http://amzn.to/d0MUEz.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Amazon's Lending Library

Okay, I have succumbed to something I swore I would never do. I joined the Amazon Kindle Select Program. Although my book is on Amazon as a paperback and as an ebook, and I felt it was pompous of Amazon to expect exclusivity. That meant shutting down Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.com and any other avenues that distribute "Once in Every Generation" electronically. But, in the past few months I have been hearing from other authors that there have been major downloads of their books through this program. While readers have been buying my book steadily since it's publication, and I have on occasion offered it discounted, I have wearied of promoting it. Ugh, the business end of the book business. So, when I hear that authors can get their books into the hands of 400-1000-plus readers, who might then suggest it to others, I decided to give it a try. This affords me two important "shot-in-the-arms." 1) I don't particularly care if a reader gets it for free (without royalties coming to me), because it means a reader is reading it. My message is getting out there. And that has been my greatest wish for my novel. 2) This gives me uninterrupted time to concentrate on my second novel which has been moving along quickly. Perhaps, those readers of my first novel will then want to buy my second novel as well. In the industry this is called "building a platform." Though I must warn all my readers that this second novel is vastly different than my first: Suspense/mystery/thriller/historical fiction - it has it all. So, there is a 5-day window of FREE downloads through the KDP Select programs and the link is below. After that it gets put into the lending library for 90 days. I'm giving it a try. At least, I will have 90 days to work exclusively on my new novel. ONCE IN EVERY GENERATION - For 5 days only for Amazon Prime Members: $0.00 (borrow for free from your Kindle). http://amzn.to/d0MUEz. Please share this with your friends.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Road Trip!!!!!!!!



Crossing the country by car with my 22 year-old son was a trip I will always remember.
Every two hours we would exchange jobs and the other would drive. Having MS, I felt some trepidation before leaving on what would be five days of driving. What would it be like sitting for hours and hours? Would my stomach survive eating highway food? Would my son sleep the whole way? Or, would he venture to converse with his Mom? How could I possibly listen to his Ipod music for hours and hours?
Turns out five days is a looonnnnng time to sit in a car. From Southern Arizona to Washington, DC. After two hours, we would get out switching jobs, and the actual movement of just going from sitting to standing was a bit of a challenge. Muscles stiffen up pretty quickly, and I would find myself walking as if I just got off a horse. But, I would stretch it out and take over the wheel.
For me it was never about the destination, but about the trip. My son is starting a new chapter in his life as he enters grad school in a state 2000 miles away. We all know what happens. Angelina said it best in my novel: “Life gets in the way of living.” After grad school, he will likely pursue his PhD, then get a job (cross your fingers), then meet a lovely lady, then settle down, etc. etc. His new life will be in the D.C. Metro area. My husband, daughter and I will be flying to the East for our vacations.
This is something that had to happen. For my son to pursue this educational road and be successful in International Relations - Conflict Analysis and Resolution, there was never a question that D.C. would be the hub of that activity. After all, there are no embassies in Arizona.
This mother-son sojourn was my way of holding on to him for just a little bit longer. I kept any discomfort to myself, having vowed he would not hear me complain. After all, this was my idea. Yet, he was solicitous of me showing concern for my comfort. I love that kid! Plus, for the next three days, we had fun setting him up in his new environment.
There’s a quote from a song that always makes me tear up: “We watch them grow, just to let them go.” I’m not sure I will ever get used to it, but I’m very glad I insisted on this trip and will never regret it… even after I return home and remain horizontal for a few days. For this short while, MS will stand for My Son.