The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Box of Goodies, A Give-Away and Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday #45

Today I got a huge box of books, bookmarks and a limited-edition (I'm assuming it's not one of a million) coffee mug... all courtesy of Lisa Ricard Claro. 

Lisa was having a "create-a-new-name-for-her-blog" contest. I came up with the worst ideas. All lame, all tongue-in-cheek, all a bit fun (for me). 

Hey, Lisa. I didn't submit this one: Naked With a Tongue-in-My-Cheek(s)

Lisa came up with her own, after 137 different bloggers submitted an idea (she has quite a following), but she chose two winners at random, and this is what my postal carrier dropped off today:


Lisa's generosity led me to pull out a book I've meant to give away for a long time. It's got a 2002 copyright and one author's name made me buy it. (I got it from a thrift store years ago, I believe.)

Donna Volkenannt. It includes the story, "Julie's Gift" by Donna. And if you don't know anything about Donna, here are two tidbits: She's a gifted writer, and she rarely writes about personal things. This is one of the rare exceptions.

So, if you leave a comment, I'll put your name (literally) into a literal hat or bowl or cooking pot, stir up the name(s)... and you might end up a winner.

And now onto the book blurb--

Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your book. You choose the genre. A thriller? A study of mental illness? You decide.

Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book.

Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this project and has at least 3 published novels under her belt. Not only is she a novelist, she's also a professional editor. She has a deft hand when she writes, she knows what good writing looks like and she knows how to edit in an encouraging way. So, if you need some tweaking (not twerking... if you need that, you're gonna have to do that yourself) to get your manuscript polished, check out her website. You'll find inspiring posts as well as information on her editorial services and rates. 

Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, ink your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.

Sometimes writers need to take a break from the serious work of writing they're doing. Put the article/short story/novel aside that you're working on, have some fun with this... and then get back to your WIP.

Here's the book cover and the blurb:

photo by

Queen of Cougartown

Herbert, her husband, died twenty-three years ago. Cooking for one wasn’t too much fun, and Bingo wasn’t too exciting, but it was the rut-of-a-life Bernice had settled into.

But when Bernice saw Betty White flirting with a Hawaiian hunk named Jason Momoa on a talk show, something inside her started breathing again.

‘I’m ten years younger than that old biddie. Betty’s in her nineties, and if it’s okay for her to have fun and act like a hussy, why not me?’

Who would she set her sights on? After perusing magazines and the internet, she decided on Benecio del Torro. His dark hair, his boyish smile made him irresistible. And like a rocket, Bernice started work on making “Benny” her first cub. She packed her bag and headed to Mexico. Once she was tan and had picked up a few Spanish phrases, she’d be ready to pounce... (150 words)

Reviews of Queen of Cougartown

Courteney Cox: Bernice is no cougar. To be a cougar, she's gotta be a hottie. Bernice is just a has-been. Besides, this almost sounds like it should be a television show, not a book. I just might steal this idea... I'd rather be dancin' in the dark than read this trash."

Ruth Gordon as "Maude": "This book makes me literally turn over in my grave. I was the original cougar. Me and Bud Cort were so hot together, a couple of reels of film even melted. Bernice needs to back down, or I'll sic Harold on her."

Sofia Vergaro: "No cougar has as cute of a cub as my Joe. Bernice can have Del Torro--there's nothing magic about him, even if he changed his name to Mike--and the rest of you ladies can have this book... because I am living it in real life."

For Val and Pat (along with anyone else who wants to play along), here is the photo for next week:

photo by

And if you'd like to see the snippet of Betty White that inspired this blurb, here it is:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Can You Handle the Truth? Three Reasons Why We Should Write Honestly

I was looking for a great quote about writing for a project I'm working on, and came upon this one by Margaret Atwood:

“The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.”

I'm struggling with a project. Should I keep it intact as a novel, or divide it into a couple of different projects? Or, should I keep the novel as is, and write a memoir that was inspired by the fictional piece? (The Lovely Bones and Lucky were like this.)

I've had some unusual challenges in the last five years. (My brother was a real piece of work.) My oldest childhood friend is a psychiatrist, and even she said she's never heard anything like it. (I definitely don't feel proud. ;) Certainly there are advantages to writing truthfully. But what are they?

1. It is healing. Writing of sad or challenging times can help the writer work through those feelings.

2. It can help others. No one is alone. Everyone has issues they have to deal with. Reading about someone else's life lets the reader know they're not alone in their struggle.

3. It makes our writing more powerful. If our writing is true, if it lays out our vulnerability for all to see, it's going to have a strong impact on the reader.

How about you? How do you handle honesty in your writing? Have you had any blow-back or success stories because you honestly wrote? Vacillating minds want to know...