Reflections

Yes, my friends, the book that started it all for me is now published and available! I first wrote this story nearly twenty years ago. I found out I enjoyed writing even more than I always thought I would. Since then, I’ve continued to write fiction in short stories and novels. Over the years I’ve taken out this first one, rewrote and tried to improve on it with the better skills as I learned them. Now after all this time, I believe Reflections is ready to share with all who would like to read it. What a great feeling! Please go to https://www.createspace.com/4239887 to see it. I’d appreciate it if you would click the like button at the top of the page for Facebook. The book is also available at http://goo.gl/P9nZ9 in paperback and kindle. And it can be found on Smashwords.com eBooks at this link http://goo.gl/6SqQL borderF

Lighthouse Short Stories Review

LSS front cover

Lighthouse Short StoriesLighthouse Short Stories by Carol Carroll
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lighthouse Short Stories is a fun, light read. All four stories are unique and stand alone. All have a lighthouse station in them, and hidden within is a treasure of information about lighthouses that unfold naturally. Character driven, the stories capture attention so the reader wants to keep turning those pages. I enjoyed writing them and hope you all will delight in them also.

View all my reviews

A Writer’s Brand

After reading this post, I think it is worthwhile to share it. It takes the mystery out of what author branding really is!

A Writer’s Brand Identity
Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger on Mar 4, 2013 4:43:40 AM

In today’s blog, I’d like to take a step back from brand building strategies and tools and focus solely on brand identity. I spend a lot of time writing about blogging, social media, personal appearances, etc. Those are important tactics for creating brand awareness, but they are not your brand. I’ve even said that your brand is simply you – your personality – on display for all the world to see. It is, but as an author, your brand is more than a package of your insights and online musings.

At the very core of your brand is your writing. The quality of your author brand lies squarely in the quality of your writing.

It’s a point I don’t reference enough in my postings about building a brand, but it’s something you should never lose sight of as you move forward in your indie author career. Your writing matters much, much more than all the other things you do to build your brand. Effective marketing may lead a reader to a book, but if the book’s content is sub-par, you risk one of two things: the reader tells no one about it or the reader even discourages others from reading it.

That’s why I think it’s important not only to practice the skill every day but to study the craft. Talk with other authors about their philosophies on writing. Explore the history and evolution of the written word. Try out different writing styles until you find the best one for you. Become an expert on writing.

Sometimes in our pursuit of book sales and brand value, we neglect the thing that brought us here: writing. Most of us didn’t start writing to get rich or become famous. Most of us took up writing because it’s our passion, something we love to do. We may not even be able to explain why we love it so much, but we do. We write not to build a brand; our writing is our brand.

-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

Lighthouse Short Stories

LSS courier

Available now at Amazon.com, and Smashwords.com

Inconclusive Death made TOP 10 INDIE BOOKS March 17th 2013

Inconclusive Death an Aaron Blake Mystery made the TOP 10 INDIE BOOKS March 17th 2013. Here’s the link:http://theindietribe.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/top-10-indie-books-march-17th-2013/

Available in print book at: http://www.amazon.com/Inconclusive-Death-Aaron-Blake-Mystery/dp/1480165034/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363554297&sr=1-1&keywords=inconclusive+death+an+aaron+blake+mystery

Review, Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster

Four-and-a-half star review by Carol Carroll

Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster…

The beginning of this book is intriguing. Even though it’s a bit slow to get revved up, when it does, you’d better have your seat belt on!

The story of a troubled teenage girl being accused of murder, and a woman lawyer dealing with her own personal struggles while trying to help the girl she wants to believe in. The author painted scenes in words that tore at my heart and tightened my chest as I read on to find out what would happen next. Very good story, very ‘real’ characters, and attention-grabbing locations portrayed vividly… If you like a good mystery/suspense novel, this is a great read!

Get a FREE e-book at— https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/5314

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day- an Irish Tale

The short story of Conn O’Shea

Conn O’Shea knew he’d had a bit more to drink than he should have. He felt himself stagger and his mind was foggy as he made his way down the overgrown path of the shortcut through the woods. He needed to get home from the pub before his dear wife, Deirdre, sent out a search party. The trees and brush seemed to take on a life of their own on this eerie, overcast night. The moon and stars were hidden beyond the cloud cover. It made the forest more dark and damp than usual. When he first noticed movement in a clump of bushes, he paid little attention.

***

“Deirdre, Deirdre, where are ye?” Conn called out when he pushed open his front door. “Come here, woman, I ‘ave somethin’ to tell ye!”

With a towel in her hands and a scowl on her round face, Deirdre came into the front room from the kitchen area. “Well, if it isn’t about time ye showed yerself! Where have ye been for so long?” Her voice snapped and her eyes were full of anger.

“Don’t be mad, me love. Jus’ let me tell ye!” He pulled her to the couch and sat her down beside him. “I was comin’ down the path through the woods when I saw a movement out of me right eye. I kept me goin, not thinkin’ much of it, ‘til I ‘eard the music. It twas a faint sound at first, on me motha if it wasn’t. I frowned and stepped lightly to make me way round the nearest bush. There before me very eyes was about a dozen little people havin’ themselves a wee old time. Playing the music, and dancin,’ and drinkin’ the night away. I shook me head and rubbed me eyes, finding it hard to believe what I was seein’!”

“What a story… a bunch of blarney for excuses to be so late!” Deirdre was not buying any of it.

“Naw,‘tis the truth, so ‘elp me, jus’ listen. It took me only a second to realize these little people, no bigger than two foot high they were, ‘ad to be the leprechauns. I saw thar pointed ears an turned up toes, an I knew I ‘ad me a chance to catch one! Ever so quiet, I got closar. I ‘ad jus’ moved me arms to grab the closest one, when they saw me. I got holt of the little fella an’ all the rest disappeared into thin air. He tried to get away, oh, how he tried, but I ‘eld on tight and I ner let go of ‘im.”

Deirdre stared deeply into her husband’s eyes. Can any of this be the truth, she wondered. Still suspicious she asked, “What happened next? Tell me more.”

“When he figured out it was no use, he asked me, “What will it be then, will ye take my pot of gold to set me free?”

“Well, I thought quick, ya know, and I says, ‘it will take the three wishes, that’s what it will take, and nothing less.’”

“But with a pot of gold, you can buy anything you could wish for. Let’s have done with the bargain.”

“No,” says I firmly, “I’ll have all three wishes, if ye please.”

The wee man shook his head. “You may be sorry, but if it’s the three wishes you want you shall have them. Make the first right now. Then call out for me when you are ready for the second. I’m bound by my word to come to you.”

“Not trusting him to stay, I kept hold of him with a strong grasp. I thought carefully, so I wouldn’t be tricked. Then I said, ‘I wish for enough gold put in my barn than I could ever need in the rest of my life.’”

He blinked and nodded his head. “It is there. Now you must let me go.”

“Not until I see it with me own eyes, me little friend. It’s not far, you come along.” When we went into the barn it fairly glowed from the shine of gold. We are rich beyond our dreams, me love!” He reached into his pocket and put a hand full of gold coins into his wife’s palm.

It didn’t take long for everyone from miles around to hear of Conn’s good fortune. And it seemed they all had dire need for financial help. Conn, the generous man he was, gladly helped them out. Sooner than he could know, his gold was all but gone. Angry that he ran out of money, he yelled, “Leprechaun come here!”

In the blink of an eye, the little red bearded man in the green suit of clothes appeared. He looked at Conn. “What will it be this time?”

“You didn’t keep your word,” Conn accused. “My gold has run out and I still have years to live!”

“You wished for more gold put in your barn than ye could ever need in the rest of yer life. I put that much there. If you used more than you needed, that’s your own fault.”

“Oh,” Conn said. “Then for my second wish I want enough gold that I will never run out no matter how I spend it!”

“It is done,” the leprechaun said, and he faded away.

As time went by, more and more people heard about Conn and his gold. It seemed that everyday there was a long line of people at his door to tell him their story of woe. Conn’s life was full of grief and sorrow, and beggars asking for help. When he could stand no more, he called back the leprechaun.

“This is your third and last wish. Remember, I will not come to ye again.” The wee gentleman grinned with glee.

Then I must be more careful what I ask for this time, Conn thought to himself. He looked into the pudgy face of his benefactor and said, “Things have not turned out at all as I had in mind. Life has become a burden. There are times I wish I had never found you!”

“So it shall be!” The leprechaun disappeared for the final time.

Thank you, Michelle Browne

Sending a big shout out to Michelle Browne…
Thank you, Michelle, for the extremely helpful copyedit you did on my book, Lighthouse Short Stories. Your suggestions brought out some interesting additions to my stories, making all four of them better reads!
If anyone would like a second set of seasoned eyes to look at your book and give a helpful critique, I recommend contacting Michelle at:

https://www.facebook.com/#!/michelle.p.browne?fref=ts

See her books at: http://www.amazon.com/Michelle-Browne/e/B00BGWZRCW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Questions answered by James J. Murray, Fiction Writer

The Next Big Thing!

Posted on January 30, 2013 on http://jamesjmurray.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-next-big-thing/

Questions answered by James J. Murray, Fiction Writer

 

 What is the working title of your next book?

Lethal Medicine

Where did the idea for your book come from?

Several years ago, I sold my pharmacy business. Soon, I realized that I missed the work, the people and the patients. My wife suggested that I write about it. I liked the idea, but that presented a whole new set of challenges: do I write a “how-to” book, a memoir or something else? I chose the something else. I always dreamed of writing fiction, but never had the time. Now I had the time and a rich history in clinical pharmacy to draw upon. I decided to write a suspense novel about a clinical pharmacy practice turning sinister.

What genre does your book fall under?

Mystery/Suspense.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Hugh Jackman would play Jon Masters, Nicole Kidman would play Gwen Masters, and Javier Bardem would play Jorge Nuevo.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The life of a successful clinical pharmacist implodes when he discovers that the investigational drug study he’s managing is a sham, causing him to be indicted for drug trafficking and leading him on a quest to prove his innocence as he uncovers a global network of illegal drugs destined to become the nation’s latest and most addictive recreational substance.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

About two years.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Little has been written about a pharmacist protagonist who battles an international crime organization, so my book is unique in that respect. I would say that this novel is a mixture of those by Joseph Finder and Robin Cook. Joseph Finder puts everyday people into impossible situations that test their talents to the limit, and Robin Cook always focuses on some sinister aspect of medicine and the medical profession.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Being an avid murder mystery and thriller reader for many years, I would often turn to my wife and say, “What would happen if…?” One day a few years ago, while waiting for a flight to travel on vacation, I turned to my wife and asked her that very question. We began discussing a plot and then added some characters to the equation. By the time we had boarded the flight, I’d given the characters names and my wife suggested that I write a story outline. That outline turned into this first novel and I’ve been writing ever since.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

This book focuses on infusion pharmacy, a little known aspect of the practice of pharmacy. It also offers an interesting perspective on modern life in China.

************************************************************************

Thanks for allowing me to share thoughts about my debut novel. I plan to publish this work by late spring and hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

A Piece of Writing That Everyone Should Read.

 Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness.. The following is a portion of the transcript:

“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers. 

“The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart. 

“In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent 

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy — it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. 

Your laws ignore our deepest needs, 
Your words are empty air. 
You’ve stripped away our heritage, 
You’ve outlawed simple prayer. 
Now gunshots fill our classrooms, 
And precious children die. 
You seek for answers everywhere, 
And ask the question “Why?” 
You regulate restrictive laws, 
Through legislative creed. 
And yet you fail to understand, 
That God is what we need! 

“Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs — politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. 

“As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA — I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! 
My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!” 
- Darrell Scott


Let the nation hear this man’s speech. Please send this out to everyone you can.
God Bless
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