How to select the picture you want for your post

Jean Cogdell makes selecting the picture for your post on FB easy-peasy!

Jean's Writing

Are you frustrated with Facebook?

Irritated every time you click the share button and Facebook chooses the wrong picture to post?

Me too!

What’s this all about? Apparently, from what I’ve been able to find out, Facebook controls this in an effort to stop people from changing legit articles by adding fake pictures.

Huh?

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of the same picture posting every time I click share. So, I’ve discovered a workaround. Well, works most of the time.

Instead of clicking on the share button, try this.

  • First copy your post address. (  https://      )
  • Open your Facebook page.
  • Paste the post address in Facebook.

The link should show default picture with arrows so you can select a different image.

If this doesn’t work, you may need to SCRAPE/DEBUG your Facebook. 

Click on this link – FACEBOOK DEBUG

After you click the…

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Don’t throw out the baby! Why #Amazon doesn’t want your #BookReviews

Barb Taub explains Amazon’s new change in their reviewing policy.

Barb Taub

An open letter to Amazon:

Dear Amazon,

I should be your Holy Grail. I’m the real deal, an actual reader who goes through books carefully, thinks about what they mean and how they’re written, and then writes a considered, thoughtful, and hopefully helpful analysis—in other words, I’m a book reviewer.

Writers, potential customers, publishers, and oh yes—you, Amazon—should be jumping for joy and giving thanks that I’ve taken hours to read and yet more hours to craft reviews for hundreds of books. Instead, Amazon, you’ve decided to punish reviewers like me.

In the name of discouraging “fake” reviews, your new policy requires reviewers like me to spend $50 on Amazon’s US site and even more, £40 on Amazon UK before I can share my review. Have you thought about other solutions, or the effect this will have on legitimate reviewers?

Amazon has figured out how to conduct millions of legitimate…

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Time Trail

By Janet Slater

Book Blurb

Casey arrives in southwest Ohio expecting a working retreat, staying at a historic home along a wooded bike trail while analyzing lead-contaminated soil samples at an abandoned ammunition factory. Instead she is drawn into events that shape history along two railroads-one, buried by the bike trail, that took a newly-elected president to his inauguration and a Civil War; and the other an Underground Railroad of courageous people and high ideals, but also of buried secrets. Told through a fugitive slave interview, newspaper articles, an old diary and modern narration, three stories intertwine in this novel based on a real place and people both real and imagined.  (Goodreads.com)

My Review

This novella length novel was right up my alley.  It is a historical fiction set right in my backyard. The story takes place between the towns of Morrow, Ohio and Fosters, Ohio along the Little Miami Scenic Trail (a wooded bike/walking trail) in southwestern Ohio.  Much of the story takes place at the Peters Cartridge Factory which is abandoned and is situated between the two towns and just over the hill from my house.

Casey came to Ohio to collect soil samples at the old factory. She rented an old house in Fosters that still exists today. The house was built by Henry Butterworth and was a stop on the Underground Railroad.  In order not to reveal too much of the story, I won’t delve into what happens in this short novel, but I will say it has a time travel element where Casey is taken back in time to learn of happenings relating to that time.  From a historical point of view, though some of the details are fictionalized, there were deaths from a munitions factory explosion, president-elect Lincoln’s whistle-stop ride through Morrow, and the history surrounding the Underground Railroad and the dangers faced by slaves. For those who love romance, there is some of that, too, but not so much to scare off anyone who isn’t interested in that genre.

This was truly an enjoyable read and I would definitely recommend it to EVERYONE!

About the Author

Janet Slater is a writer and editor and a former writing instructor at the University of Cincinnati. She has served as editor of two local magazines and several books, and currently is editor of Trail Mail, the newsletter of Friends of the Little Miami State Park. Her love of local history and research inspires her writing, most recently in Time Trail, set just north of Cincinnati where she lives with her husband. She is also the author of A Home in the Storm, a historical fiction book for children ages 8 to 12. Janet volunteers on the board of directors of the Friends of the Little Miami State Park and enjoys inline skating and bicycling on its beautiful trail.

Purchase TIME TRAIL at Amazon.

Looking for Me

By Beth Hoffman

 

Book Blurb

Beth Hoffman’s bestselling debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, won admirers and acclaim with its heartwarming story and cast of unforgettable characters. Now her unique flair for evocative settings and richly drawn Southern personalities shines in her compelling new novel, Looking for Me.

Teddi Overman found her life’s passion for furniture in a broken-down chair left on the side of the road in rural Kentucky. She learns to turn other people’s castoffs into beautifully restored antiques and eventually finds a way to open her own shop in Charleston. There, Teddi builds a life for herself as unexpected and quirky as the customers who visit her shop.  Though Teddi is surrounded by remarkable friends and finds love in the most surprising way, nothing can alleviate the haunting uncertainty she’s felt in the years since her brother Josh’s mysterious disappearance. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi is drawn home to Kentucky.  It’s a journey that could help her come to terms with her shattered family—and to find herself at last.  But first, she must decide what to let go of and what to keep. (Goodreads.com)

My Review

Beth Hoffman is an excellent storyteller.  From early in the book through the end she had me hooked on the story of Teddi Overman.  As a young girl, Teddi discovers her life’s passion when she finds an old chair left on the road near her home in rural Kentucky.  When she takes it home and fixes it up, her mother dismisses it as junk.  Teddi loved it and as an adult rescues old furniture, repairs it, and sells it in her own shop in Charleston, South Carolina.

There were sad stories of the disappearance of her brother Josh and the loss of her parents. The misunderstanding between Teddi and her mother that created a rocky relationship between the two is a story many can relate to. There were truly funny accounts of various characters such as Albert, her grumpy furniture restorer, the hilarity of sticky-fingered Tula Jane Poteet, and a bit of romance.  In all this story had a perfect balance of all these elements.

The characters, of which there were quite a few, were well drawn out and believable.  I especially liked Olivia and her loyalty to her best friend, Teddi.  Sam was a surprise, and you’ll see what I mean when you read the book.  Albert was quite the personality and won my heart from the time I met him. Teddi was a complex character with a lot of hurdles to overcome along life’s path. She eventually discovers where her heart really lies, but it takes a long while for her to realize this.

I will definitely read more by Beth Hoffman and would recommend LOOKING FOR ME to anyone who enjoys women’s fiction.

About the Author

Twelve days after Beth Hoffman’s first novel was published in 2010, she became a New York Times bestselling author with foreign rights selling to prestigious publishers in Italy, Germany, France, Poland, Norway, Hungary, Indonesia, Korea, Israel, and the United Kingdom.

Following an extensive national tour, Beth returned home to Kentucky and the solace of her writing studio. Drawing from vivid memories of childhood on her grandparents’ farm and her love of animals, nature, and antiques, a surprising story quickly took form. When asked about her second novel, which is titled Looking for Me, Beth says: “This book encompasses my deepest passions—it’s the story that woke me in the night and demanded to be told.”

Before beginning her writing career, Beth was the president and co-owner of an interior design studio. An artist as well as an award-winning designer, her paintings are displayed in private and corporate collections in the United States, Canada, and the UK.

Beth lives, along with her husband and two very smart cats, in a restored Queen Anne home in a quaint historic district in Northern Kentucky. Her interests include the rescue of abandoned and abused animals, nature conservancy, birding, historic preservation, and antiquing. (Goodreads.com)

Author Links

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Buy the Book

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The Small Town Producing 140 Million Books A Year

Nicholas Rossis has unearthed some fascinating information about where that book you’re reading was printed and bound.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Berryville Graphics | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Photo by Edward Leonard, Clarke Daily News

The last page of your favorite mystery novel probably offers this brief, final mystery: “Printed and bound in Berryville, Virginia.”

Just where is Berryville, you may ask. A question that can only grow when you learn that a town of some 4,000 people is responsible for producing some 140 million books a year.

A Trappist Monastery And A Printer

As Andrew Madigan of The Washington Post reports, Berryville is the seat of Clarke County, five miles from West Virginia. Buildings of note include a Trappist monastery, a soldier’s home and a very old pie company. With a population of 4,185, Berryville has a healthy, ironic sense of its own obscurity.

And yet, the town’s only major printer, Berryville Graphics (BVG), became in 1998 the nation’s No. 3 book manufacturer with a brand-new patent for its Duratech binding technology. This was a…

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Study: Reading Programs May Improve Kids’ Behavior!

A wonderful post from author Janice Spina on the importance of reading to your children and the effects on behavior.

Jemsbooks

I found this interesting study about reading  by Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) in the New Hampshire Union Leader on Thursday, March 29, 2018 on page 84. This may be enlightening to many parents who have children with behavior problems.

Here are some quotes from this article. If you would like to look it up online I mentioned the paper and date and page number above. I also took a photo of this article and posted it below the excerpts. Enjoy!

Study: Reading Programs May Improve Kids’ Behavior!

By Lisa Rapaport

(Reuters Health)

Programs that encourage parents to read with their kids may teach more than just book smarts — a new study suggests they may also be associated with better behavior and emotional health.

Reading interventions have long been linked to improvements in language and literacy, especially among young children whose parents have limited income or education. 

But Less…

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The Right Wrong Man

By Pamela Wight

 

Book Blurb

In this page-turning romantic suspense, Meredith Powers’ career as a medical editor seems safe enough as she searches for love with the right man. But she is pulled suddenly from her serene world in Boston to one of intrigue, kidnapping, and murder in the Caribbean.

Meredith’s simple life becomes terribly complicated when she works with an author who drags her into a drug heist. The reappearance of her ex-boyfriend, the D.E.A. agent, and the stunning response from her current accountant boyfriend all lead to complications, danger, and more than a few questions.

Meredith wonders if she really knows the people who surround her in her daily life. Her parents, her best friends, her boss, even her lover. She discovers that almost everyone holds secrets, and the unearthing of those cover-ups lead to mystery and danger that changes everything, and everyone, she thought she knew. (Goodreads)

 

My Review

Everyone looks for the book they can’t put down and THE RIGHT WRONG MAN is one such book.  The story is positively captivating with lots of twists and turns leaving you wondering what will happen next. With elements of romance and suspense combined, this fast-paced novel is a real page-turner.

The characters are fully developed and truly believable.  Though there are multiple characters, each adding to the story, they are all distinguishable and leave no confusion over who is who. Mystery surrounds each of Meredith’s love interests culminating in surprises about each.

If you love a good mystery with romance heavily sprinkled throughout, this book is for you.  There is nothing I didn’t like about THE RIGHT WRONG MAN.  I have no reason not to award this book five stars.

The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

About the Author

Pamela Wight is a successful author of romantic suspense as well as the author of the illustrated children’s book, BIRDS OF PARADISE, enjoyed by readers ages 3 to 93.

Her first book, THE RIGHT WRONG MAN, got rave reviews for taking readers “on an exciting adventure with lots of intrigue, unexpected plot twists, and romance.” A year later, Wight published her second novel, TWIN DESIRES. “Lots of suspense, plot twists, romance, and excellent character development makes this a fun read!”

The gorgeously illustrated BIRDS OF PARADISE has received many enthusiastic reviews: “This creative, compassionate story about birds will inspire children to notice the everyday adventures of backyard birds.”

Pamela earned her Master’s in English from Drew University, continued with postgraduate work at UC Berkeley in publishing, and teaches creative writing classes in Boston and San Francisco.

She lives in the Boston area with her “right man” and hikes the New England trails while concocting her next novel, As Lovely as a Lie. Wight travels frequently to the San Francisco Bay area for additional inspiration. She speaks to book clubs in both locations. (Amazon Author Page)

Author Links

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Buy the Book

Amazon

A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far

The Forgotten Child Trilogy Book 1

By Mark W. Sasse

 

Book Blurb

If she wanted help changing the world for one forgotten child, she chose the wrong man. Seventy-two-year-old Francis Frick would scorn his own family to close another deal. But Bee doesn’t see the world like you or me. She is an optimist, searching for potential where none exists, and so she hovers above Frick’s bed every night, eating pomegranates and waiting for his eyes to open to the possibilities. One night, it finally happens. A rogue droplet of juice slips through her fingers and hits the sleeping Manhattan businessman on the forehead, thrusting him on a series of baffling adventures to some of the twentieth century’s most brutal regimes—all to help Bee save a forgotten child of history.

A MAN TOO OLD FOR A PLACE TOO FAR is part one of The Forgotten Child Trilogy—a one-of-a-kind adventure that mixes time travel, magical realism, and historical fiction into a contemporary story about an old man, his estranged daughter, and a tiny flying person in a white robe, who chooses to believe that anything can happen with enough prodding and an endless supply of pomegranates.  (Goodreads)

My Review

Francis Frick is a modern-day “Scrooge” who would do anything to make another business deal.  He is friendless, and his only daughter is incessantly challenged by his callousness, but she made a deathbed promise to her mother to look after him. Bee, a fairy-like being, makes him her project, and what a project he is!  Bee and her friend Ash thrust Frick into a series of journeys into the past where he is literally dropped into some of the most dangerous and ruthless moments in history.

This story is well fleshed out with notes of magical realism, suspense, and history.  For me, this is a perfect combination.  In addition to several main characters, there are numerous auxiliary characters, but I had no trouble keeping track of who is who.

I’ve read and loved all of Mark Sasse’s works and this book is possibly his best so far.  There is no reason for me not to award five stars to A MAN TOO OLD FOR A PLACE TOO FAR.

The ideas expressed in this review are my own observations.

About the Author

Mark is a proud Western PA native but has lived most of the last twenty years in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia. His overseas experiences have redefined everything including his palate, his outlook on life, and naturally his writing.

He has published six novels – the sixth being book 1 in his very first trilogy – The Forgotten Child Trilogy. Books 2 & 3 will be following soon behind.

His interests cast a wide net – from politics to literature – to culture and language – to history and religion – making his writing infused with the unexpected as he seeks to tell authentic and engaging stories about people from all walks of life. His writing is straightforward and accessible to all, especially those who enjoy writing injected with doses of culture, history, adventure, and delightful humor. You never know what you might get when you pick up a Sasse novel.

Besides novel-writing, Sasse is a prolific dramatist, having written and produced more than a dozen full-length dramatic productions. He especially is fond of the short play format and has twice won the Best Script award at the Short & Sweet Theatre Festival Penang. His plays and short musicals have also been produced in New York City, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney. His play “The Last Bastion” was awarded the Greywood Arts Winter Residency 2018 in Ireland. Performances of his scripts also won Gold and Bronze medals at the Southeast Asian Forensics Competition 2014.

His professional background is as diverse as his writing. He holds Masters degrees from California State University Dominquez Hills and Azusa Pacific University in Humanities and TESOL respectively. His undergraduate degree was in English, which helped him develop his passion for creative writing. He has extensive experience in teaching English, history, and drama.

On top of all of this, he loves to cook everything from gourmet pizzas, to Mexican, to various Asian dishes. Flavor is the key of both his cooking and his writing. He very much hopes you enjoy the taste. (Goodreads)

Author Links

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Audible

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Smorgasbord Short Stories – Tales from the Garden – Trouble in Paradise – Part one by Sally Cronin

Do you like stories of fairies? Sally Cronin shares part one of her book TALES FROM THE GARDEN.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

In the summer I will be releasing Tales from the Irish Garden.. stories of magic and fantasy. It is the sequel to Tales from the Garden published in 2015 and I am going to share the stories from that collection with you in the next few weeks.

About Tales from the Garden

Tales from the Garden reveals the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees. You will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories. The guardians who have kept the sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found…

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21 Ways to Spring Clean Your Blog #bloggingtips

Do you want to update your blog but don’t know where to start? Hugh from Hugh’s News and Views has simplified the steps to spring clean your blog.

Hugh's Views & News

It doesn’t have to be springtime to clean up your blog.  These free tips can be used at any time of the year.

#bloggingtips #blogging #WordPress

1. Give your blog a brand new theme. WordPress offers lots of free themes, and you can try them out first before deciding on which one best suits you. Giving your blog a brand new theme will give it a fresh new look. However, there’s nothing wrong with sticking with your current theme if you’re happy with it.

2. Customise your existing theme. Press the ‘customize’ button on your blog’s dashboard to see what you can change.

#bloggingtips #blogging #WordPress

3. Change the background colour of your blog. However, be careful when choosing a colour. Ask yourself if you’d be happy reading a blog with that neon coloured background that plays tricks on your eyes. Press the ‘customize‘ button to make any changes.

4. Change the type of font (and…

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