Why I Write About Dead People By Michael Phillip Cash Author Guest Post and Book Swag Giveaway

As the author of several paranormal and horror books, I’m often asked why I write about dead people. The answer is very simple. I’m fascinated with the afterlife. I love the idea that energy never dies and we are immortal beings having a human experience.

I’m not alone here. There’s a ton of evidence to be found on the subject. Studies show that a high percentage of people do believe in some form of an afterlife – some reports even estimate a whopping 82% of Americans believe that there’s something more waiting for us after we die.

Speaking for myself, I can certainly say there have been times when I’ve felt this infiniteness. This makes me believe that life isn’t over after our heart stops beating. I believe we were created by something that is beyond the scope of our imagination, something bigger than the word God.

This is why I write about dead people. That and the fact that they seem to be much more fascinating than most people living on earth. 

 

Michael Phillip Cash is the author of the four-book series A Haunting on Long Island.

Readers can connect with Michael on his website and Facebook.

 

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Five Reasons to Blog About Your Business

If you’re a business owner, you know the importance of having a business website. It’s the primary place to send potential customers who want to find out more about you and your business. However, there’s one important marketing tool you might be overlooking – a business blog.

Many business owners neglect to create blogs. Even more neglect to actually blog on a regular basis. If you don’t have a business blog, you’re missing out on a great business branding opportunity. Here are my top five reasons to blog about your business:

1. Blogs position you as an expert in your field.

Whatever your business is – selling products or services – you want to win the trust of your customers. Writing informational blog post content does this. It shows potential and current clients that you know your stuff.

2. Blogs keep visitors coming back to your website.

Every bit of marketing you do should be carefully designed to bring traffic to your website. Once there, consumers can find out about your business in order to decide if they want to purchase your goods or services. Websites are great, but it’s often difficult to provide your site visitors with constantly updated content. Your blog is where you’ll post fresh content every week. Visitors will come to expect new things from you and will make a point of returning.

3. Blogs allow you to connect with clients on a more personal level.

A blog is a more informal content venue. Blog readers become clients when they’re encouraged to interact and engage with you via post comments. Studies show that consumers are much more likely to purchase when they can put a face to a company.

4. Blogs are great places to announce events, discounts, giveaways, etc.

Telling your potential and current clients about special sales events, current discounts and fantastic giveaways are excellent ways to drum up business. Blogs are the best place to do this, since you can easily add links, giveaways codes, coupons and other marketing extras.

5. Blog posts provide you with engaging social media content.

Every blog post you publish should immediately be shared across all of your social media platforms. Blog posts provide you with fresh, engaging information that will entice readers to visit your blog and website.

If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of setting up your blog or with having to regularly write fresh blog content let me know. I can help. Submit a contact form here to get started. 

Giveaway and Author Guest Post MY IDEAL VALENTINE’S DAY by Judith Ann Kohnen Author of The Mandy Story Romance Series

I recently reached out to romance novelist Judith Kohnen about her Mandy Story book series. As an award-winning romance writing, I wondered what Judith would consider her ideal Valentine’s Day might be. Well, it turns out that Judith had a lot to say on the subject. Read on to find out…and don’t forget to scroll down to the end of Judith’s post to enter the AWESOME giveaway for a chance to win a FREE signed copy of Judith Kohnen’s latest romance book “For the Love of Mandy” and this GORGEOUS DaVinci Beads Musical Bracelet:

My Ideal Valentine’s Day

by Judith Kohnen

 

I didn’t have to debate too much as to what topic I might write about for this post. I had the option to write about “My Favorite Valentine’s Memory” – but frankly, I can’t remember one Valentine’s Day in all my life worth remembering. That’s pretty pathetic. No wonder I decided to be a romance author, for where else does one REALLY get the romance they dream about?

This leads me to the present topic … an ideal Valentine’s Day. Hmm, what would that be?

Well, for whatever reason my crazy mind thought, I assumed I could go to my husband for an opinion on this matter. I thought … he’s the typical male, the usual sex-on-the-brain type … you know, 24/7 got-to-have-some, or so he acts when I’m not interested. I’m thinking, this will be fun, possibly a means to receive some great lines for this terrific post I’m going to write.

It started out well. Upon approaching him with such question – what would be your ideal Valentine’s Day?) – he grins with a devilish kind of smile, and said, “I don’t think my thoughts would be printable.”

Woohoo! I’m going to get some hot stuff to post, I thought. Only, this was his first answer on paper (as I had him write his answers down for me):

“Go out to eat with my Valentine and not have to wait. Also, good service and great food.”

OMG! And I married this guy? What the hell was wrong with me? Really? 

Just read the next line, I told myself, believing surely this is a joke. He’s got to have something better than this for his next Valentine wish, like “no clothes on for 24 hours.” That’s what I was thinking he’d say.

“Take the day to really love and appreciate my Valentine like I should do every day.”

Okay, that was somewhat romantic, I suppose, but definitely not sexy at all! 

Next … 

“Go to an event such as an opera, symphony, or play that provides a romantic backdrop for the mood.”

MOOD? There’s a mood? By this time, I may shrill to the highest octave ever. I would likely not be in the mood that he’s quite in (whatever that might be).

“Go to the liquor store, if all else fails.”

My husband did NOT just say that, did he? Dear Heavens, I need a divorce. This ain’t right.

“Exchange new original promises to each other. Must be in your own words, not off the internet.”

“Shop for Lingerie.”

Okay, for sure. I’m trading in my husband. Anybody want him?

I didn’t think so.

Okay, what is MY ideal Valentine’s Day?

I’ve worked all day on my computer (typing away words and more words … so exhausting). He comes home with a beautiful bouquet of pink, white, and yellow flowers bursting with baby’s breath, smelling so deliciously sweet, my heart just melts just looking at them.

“Couldn’t wait to come home to you,” he says in that sexy low tone that would have my knees quivering beneath my sweatpants. “You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known in my lifetime,” he murmurs next.

I sigh heavily, still admiring the flowers, yet allowing his words to seep through my skin like fine wine.

“Let’s do it to it, baby, in the bedroom. Forget dinner. No need to cook. You’re all the appetite I have. I need nothing else.”

Of course, I’m thrilled, because I don’t have to cook! And I’m not hungry, because I just had a candy bar for a snack. OMG! I’m going to keep this guy for sure!

He’s made me so happy, I run into the bedroom and throw off my sweat clothes with zest. I start a disco number on my dance pole (I set it up ahead of time, hoping something like this would happen before he came – I mean, I am a creative romance writer, right?)

He’s salivating at the mouth, the drool is ridiculously dribbling down his chin, and he’s having a hard time standing on his own two feet.

It’s all okay, because I lead him to the bed and lay him down before he falls. He deserves what I’m going to give him. Oh, yes, oh, yes! This is it. My Valentine has made me lose my wits!

What better way to end this day. “Sweet Valentine, you are oh, so mine.”

 

Judith Kohnen is the author of One Chance, One Moment and the recently released For the Love of MandyBooks One and Two of The Mandy Story. A nine-time award-winning author, Judith hopes to continue to inspire readers with stories of hope, healing, and entertainment. 

Readers can connect with Judith via her website and her Amazon Author Page. 

*TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL OFFER* 

All books in The Mandy Story series will be promotionally priced at just .99 beginning February 13 and ending February 20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Social Media Engagement Tips

I’ve been sharing several social media marketing articles for authors on my Online Book Events website, but the truth of the matter is that everyone needs to be socializing online if they want their business to succeed. It’s all about building your brand!

Building a brand is hard work, but it’s extremely necessary. Regardless of what your business is, you need to be on social media, and as many platforms as possible. However, this doesn’t mean you should EVER stop at just creating your social media accounts. It also doesn’t mean you should draw the line at uploading social media content. Engagement is KEY when you want to increase your brand awareness.

What is Social Media Engagement?

Put simply, it’s how you measure your social media content success (or failure). Are you getting likes, comments and/or retweets? Are your follower numbers increasing or decreasing? In other words, are people engaging with you and your content?

Why Social Media Engagement is Important to You and Your Business

Engagement stats show you what’s working and what isn’t. Even if you’re functioning as your own social media manager, you must remember that time is money. Your efforts must be producing results or you’re wasting your time.

Strategize

Spend some time coming up with new social media engagement ideas. Make a point of reaching out to your followers. In other words, be engaging. You can also:

  • Sponsor Giveaways
  • Post More Often (1 – 2 posts per day, per social media platform is ideal)
  • Create Eye-Catching Graphics (works great for Instagram and Pinterest)
  • Comment, Like, Share (make a point of scanning your followers feeds to do this daily)

 

If you’re overwhelmed with the process of social media marketing and engagement let me know. I can help! Submit a contact form here to get started.

Review of Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks by Rick McDaniel

Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks is a book of strategies for starting fresh after a setback. The author discusses several types of comebacks that include:

  • Financial Comebacks
  • Relational Comebacks
  • Career Comebacks
  • Health Comebacks
  • Spiritual Comebacks

There are also chapters that address reasons and lessons for setbacks, as well as the different components to comebacks.

Since the author has written this book from a Christian perspective, and he’s the founder and Senior Pastor of the Richmond Community Church in VA, the book leans heavily on God, the Bible and spiritual matters. However, I would not call this book “preachy”.

The author did a wonderful job of including plenty of real life stories to make his point. I found guidance and strength from the author’s words. There were several times when the writing spoke directly to me and I found value in this.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to move past a setback in order to experience the comeback they’ve prayed for.

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

 

Happy Birthday to Author Virginia Woolf!

Happy 136th Birthday to famous English author and early feminist Virginia Woolf!

Born January 25, 1882 in Kensington, London, UK, Virginia Woolf is credited with being one of the first modernists of the 20th century. Woolf and her works became central to the 1970s feminism movement and have since been considered an inspiration to the cause.

Author Marketing: What’s on Your Author Website?

 

If you’ve made the transition from writer to author then I’d like to congratulate you! It takes a great deal of hard work, determination and courage to publish a book.

I have an important question to ask you. When you decided to become an author, did you realize how much self-promotion would be involved? Chances are you didn’t. Now that you’re published, you’ll have to quickly turn your attention to your book marketing efforts. Hopefully, you had the foresight to create an informational website even before publishing your book. If not, you’d better get going on that NOW. Don’t waste another minute promoting your book until you have your author website up and running. Why? Because your author website is your ONE CENTRAL location to send all of your potential readers. Without it, people will be forced to hunt all over the internet to find out about you and your book. Chances are they won’t bother.

So what should go into your author website? At minimum, you should have:

About Page That Includes:

  • Author Bio
  • Author Photo
  • Social Media Links

 

Book Info Page That Includes:

  • Book Blurb
  • Book Cover Photo
  • Book Purchase Links
  • Reviews (if available)

 

Contact Page That Includes:

  • Contact Form (for potential readers to submit to connect and request review copies)
  • Email Address (if you prefer this form of contact)

 

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry. It’s perfectly acceptable to use a free blogging platform like Blogger, WordPress, Wix or Weebly. Each of these platforms has the option to purchase a private domain later if you wish.

If you’re unsure of how to go about creating the perfect author website, I can help. Submit the contact form here and we’ll get started designing and publishing the best, affordable author website for you!

Weekend Book Haul

Review of No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

No One Ever Asked centers around two Missouri school district residents – impoverished South Fork and affluent Crystal Ridge. When South Fork loses its accreditation, it becomes necessary for many of its students to transfer to Crystal Ridge. The push back is swift and hard, leading to anger, mistrust, misunderstanding and confrontation.

Oh my, but did I have problems liking this book. I read and loved Ms. Ganshert’s previous book “Life After”, but I found myself struggling with this one. I’ve no doubt that my opinion will be the exception, since, although the book isn’t scheduled for publication until April, it’s already receiving high praise and positive reviews with readers.

First, I found there was just too much drama in this book – most of it revolving around Camille Gray and her family. It was just one thing after another with the Gray family and in the end it felt much more like a Lifetime Movie of the Week to me than a compelling, engrossing novel.

I didn’t really care for any of the characters. They were too whiny, wishy-washy or angry. This was one of those books that authors seem to be doing a lot of lately where we know at the start something “bad” has happened, but we have to wait until the end of the book to find out what it is. So even though I disliked the characters and a good deal of the plot I read on just to see what the “bad” thing was. Was it worth the wait? Unfortunately, not for me.

2 of 5 Stars, Susan Barton

Book Review of A Talent for Murder by Andrew Wilson

 

A Talent for Murder is a fictionalized account of the 1926 mysterious ten-day disappearance of author Agatha Christie. Christie never spoke about those ten days and the event remains a mystery to this day. Wilson weaves a tale of extortion and murder as the backdrop to this strange and intriguing piece of Agatha Christie’s life.

When I saw this book at my local library, I knew it was next on my TBR list. I’m a huge Agatha Christie fan and I’ve always found Christie’s mysterious disappearance interesting. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to its promise of being “an utterly compelling and convincing story around this still unsolved mystery involving the world’s bestselling novelist.” I didn’t find it all convincing.

The idea that someone (Dr. Kurs) could blackmail Agatha Christie into murdering his wife simply by threatening to go public with the story of Archie Christie’s infidelity was ridiculous in my opinion. Sure, there were a few mentions of harm to Agatha’s young daughter, but those seemed a little too thin to be believable. However, when Agatha receives a blood-soaked severed dog paw (meant to make Agatha that her beloved dog Peter has been murdered), I’d had enough. Anything that deals with harm to animals is a definite deal breaker for me.

The book is incredibly slow and tedious. I found the banter between the two minor characters, Una and Davison, ridiculous and unnecessary. As much as I tried to read through to the end of this book, I just could not do it. Life is too short to read books that I just can’t manage to enjoy.

2 of 5 Stars, Susan Barton