Tag Archives: Seumas Gallacher

A-R International … Self-Isolating Authors Edition: Part 5

This is the fifth part of a series in which Authors I’ve promoted in the Authors-Readers International series tell Readers what they’ve been doing during these past few months of self-isolating … See the introduction to Part 1 for a further explanation. Here are links to Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. (All links on the authors’ names will take you to their A-RI promotion.)

Allan Hudson

Thanks again for the promotion. Appreciate all you do.

During the pandemic and being at home so much, I’ve been writing a lot (of course) and I’ve completed three manuscripts. The one I’m most excited about is at the editor now. It’s titled The Alexanders – Dominic. 1911 – 1920. It’s an historical fiction beginning in 1911 when young Dominic Alexander, due to misfortune in his family, must go live with his bachelor uncle. Separated from his family, he learns a new trade, meets new friends but not all goes as well as it should and after three years, he’s faced with tough choices. Deciding to emigrate to Canada, he starts anew in New Brunswick. It follows the ups and downs of resettlement in a new country. Overcoming loneliness, finding his spot in the new world, with a war raging in Europe. The cover is coming soon, I hope for publication in Aug/Sept.

I also completed the follow up to my well received Jo Naylor action story – Shattered Figurine. She has given up being a detective and is on the move, trying to forget the painful memories she left behind. She’s still a cop in her heart and can’t avoid trouble. A grief-stricken mother begs her to help find her missing daughter. No title as of yet. (Still working on that) I have completed three drafts and I think, it’s ready for the editor.

The third manuscript is of the next Drake Alexander adventure. At the funeral of their comrade in Bordeaux, France, he and his team are approached by a man whose daughter was killed by bank robbers and have never been caught. The only clues are twenty years old. When they take on the task to find the Monteux brothers, they become the hunted. At every turn someone is at their back, taking out witnesses and after Drake’s team members. International in scope, Drake follows clues from France to Germany to Mongolia and Switzerland.
This story is also untitled and in the third draft stage.

I’ve started another novel about a Canadian archeologist & University professor, digging for clues of previous habitation on a desolate island in the South Pacific. What she finds is life-changing for her. Relics from the past that are not of this world.

Other than that Susan, I’ve been working on the Scribbler and have guests lined up until the end of August. Many authors are now reaching out to me and I like that. SBS is getting 2-300 page views a day.

Yahoo!. No boredom here.

Take care my friend. I look forward to the day when we actually meet and I hope it can be next summer when all is back to normal. (Maybe!)

Marty Chan

Thanks so much for including me in your blog posts. I’m thrilled to get the added exposure. What have I been up to during the pandemic? Here are a couple of highlights.

The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles: Metamorphosis was nominated for an Aurora Award in the Best YA Novel category.
Kung Fu Master made the CCBC’s Best Books of 2020.
– I teamed up with local performer Stephanie Wolfe to do a satirical video series called Letters of the Pandemic, which air on my YouTube channel.
– I did two virtual school visits via Google Meet.
– I signed a book contract for a new book to come out in 2021.
– I’ve been shooting writing-tip videos and folktales for kids for the Young Alberta Book Society and I have a project coming up with the TD Summer Reading Club program.
– I’ll be teaching a few online classes through the summer (YouthWrite & the U of A Faculty of Extension).
– I have a webinar coming up June 9 via The Writers’ Union of Canada. I’ll be talking about digital promotion in the social media era.

Well, I guess that’s more than a couple of highlights. Anyway, I’ve been keeping busy. At this point, I’m just having fun learning how to edit together these videos. It’s a skill set that I never thought I’d learn, but thanks to the pandemic, I had the time and inclination.

Brian Brennan

As always, I am super impressed by the amount of promoting you do on our behalf! Thank you again.

So, what have I been doing during the pandemic? I had three paid speaking engagements cancelled, which set me back a bit because they would have generated sales for my novel, The Love of One’s Country. After voluntarily sheltering in place from March 16 onward, I started keeping a pandemic diary. But I gave that up after five weeks because it was starting to turn into Mark Twain’s “got up, washed, went to bed” routine. I have now watched more Netflix series than I ever thought I would see in my lifetime, and look forward to my daughter Nico’s weekly Facebook jam sessions with her partner, Jeff Kushner, when I pull out my keyboard, sip some chardonnay, and harmonize and play along. As for writing, I do a blog post whenever the spirit moves me, and connect regularly by e-mail with friends and family around the world. I’m now starting to feel like I did after I’d been walking a picket line at the Calgary Herald for eight months in 1999-2000. When will this thing end? Limbo has never been one of my favourite places.

Stay well, stay safe.

David Poulsen

I wish I could think of a clever new way of saying “these challenging times” but I can’t so I’ll talk a little about what I’m doing to deal with the inactivity/economic hardship brought on by the pandemic. First of all, the inactivity part doesn’t really apply. While most of what I do as a rodeo announcer/broadcaster and as a writer/presenter takes place in front of a crowd and all of that has gone away, at least for 2020, self-isolation has left me with time I don’t normally have to work around the place (horse ranch) for getting corrals cleaned, fences built and repaired, yardwork done and even some gardening, which I love and usually miss out on. I have completed a YA novel, tentatively called The Dark Won’t Wait, a mystery thriller for YA readers—we’ll see where it goes in the weeks/months ahead. And I have embarked on an editing course at Mount Royal University in Calgary in the hope of hanging out my editing shingle in the next few months. As for the economic challenges, they are a little more complicated. The bills don’t go away just because the bulk of the income has (temporarily) disappeared. Nevertheless, a little belt-tightening, some help from writers groups and the federal government, some cool online video projects with YABS (Young Alberta Book Society) and knocking off a couple of 7-11 stores a month is keeping those wolves at least somewhat at bay. And there are upsides. Staying home means spending less money, enjoying a lot more phone calls, Skype and ZOOM sessions with family and acquiring skills in the garden and the kitchen; all of those are things that don’t happen normally. The need for maintaining optimism and hope—and I admit there are times when that’s difficult—is perhaps most important of all in 2020. And on that note, let me finish with this. My 98 year-old mom is in a long-term care facility in Calgary that has been hit very hard by COVID-19. And a few weeks ago, Mom tested positive. I’ll be honest–I expected the worst and prepped the family for what I thought would be the coming bad news. But Mom had other plans and is now asymptomatic and has been declared recovered. Take that, Coronavirus! For the next while I plan to work with my horses, tinker with an idea for a fifth book in the Cullen and Cobb Mysteries and read more Canadian—next up, Marina Endicott’s Good to a Fault (long overdue on my part).

Finally, thank you, Susan, as always, for being the force you are in supporting and promoting writers and writing. It is so appreciated.

Seumas Gallacher

Recent medical history and my age constitute two of the high-risk categories for me, and I am obeying the tenet of Working From Home. In Bahrain, the authorities seem to have managed very well to corral the infections … the mortality rate is extremely low , with less than 20 recorded deaths due to Corona virus. I have been working via my laptop and mobile phone on my external corporate advisory work, and doing some other writing-related projects also. I always like to keep my brain busy, and find no great hardship in being indoors most of the time.. whenever grocery shopping is required or a meting in someone’s office, I wear a face mask, as all residents here are ordered to do, -… I wash my hands at least ten times day, and use plenty of sanitizer. the new ‘norm’ is easy so far for me. The crazy imposition of a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving in the UK has put my vacation plans on hold until at least the end of the year.

Recently, Seumas posted the following to Facebook and gave me permission to use it here:

..yes! yes! yes! … there is a deputy God, and he works on the express checkout lane at Carrefour in Bahrain… I have waited for years! … yes, years! to witness the glorious event that happened this evening… I was out doing my necessary grocery shopping, and lined up at the queue one along from the express checkout as I had several items to process… a bit of a noise and argument ensued in the express lane… a woman (without a face mask, by the way – that’s obviously for OTHER people to conform to under the current anti-virus local regulations here)… she had a large queue built up behind her… she had started to unload her shopping trolley (yes, a half-full trolley!) onto the counter… loads of items… the checkout clerk did what I have wanted HUNDREDS of express checkout clerks to do for such a long time… he told her she was in the wrong queue and would have to put her stuff back in her trolley and go find a proper queue… at first she was having none of that… a supervisor then appeared, and backed up the checkout man… great stuff!… she continued to remonstrate loudly, only drawing even more attention to herself, and the customers behind her were giving her all sorts of looks and comments from behind face masks, so she didn’t know who was calling her what… it was MAGNIFICENT!… the supervisor bundled her remaining items into her trolley and led off with it to another queue, with her in tow… and lo and behold he lined her up in a queue with about a dozen customers, all of whom looked laden with full trolley-loads… I could not have scripted a better comeuppance… hats off to that checkout lad… my new hero for today! Cheers!

Susan M. Toy

That’s me!

I’ve spent almost the entire past three months on the verandah of my Bequia house – so far unable to travel back to Canada as there have been no flights in or out of the country. We’ve had reasonably excellent internet all this time though, so I’ve kept in constant contact with the world out there, and am especially happy that so many self-isolating authors have responded to my call for updates for this particular promotion series. I’ve tried to keep up with all the promotions I had planned to do, but am woefully behind at the moment … and it’s not because I’ve been frittering my time away on Facebook – well, not ALL my time, anyway!

I HAVE BEEN READING!! (Although I usually have to wait until the cat is finished with the hammock, before I can read there.) I read 16 books during the month of May alone. I believe that’s a record, even for me! Outstanding among these were new books by Richard Ford (Sorry for Your Trouble) and Alex George (The Paris Hours), and many others … Plus I had the great pleasure of beta-reading a new novel by an A-RI Author and new books by authors (one of them is my editor!) who will soon be promoted on my blog. Thank goodness, too, for being able to borrow eBooks from the library! I have never been without something great to read, even though I’m situated on a tiny island smack in the Caribbean Sea, more than 3000 miles away from Canada.  I LOVE LIBRARIES!!

The only problem with this extra time I’ve spent on Bequia this year is we’ve been experiencing a drier than normal dry season that has only just begun to end this past week. But, the cloud with a silver lining (!) in all of this is – PHENOMENAL SUNSETS!! So here’s a photo of one for you that I took just a couple of night’s ago. And you can understand from this why we named our house The View!

A-R International: Seumas Gallacher

Seumas Gallacher
Authors-Readers International

SEUMAS GALLACHER escaped from the world of finance more than ten years ago, after a career spanning three continents and five decades. As the self-professed ‘oldest computer Jurassic on the planet’ his headlong immersion into the dizzy world of eBook publishing opened his eyes, mind, and pleasure to the joys of self-publishing. As a former businessman, he rapidly understood the concept of a writer’s need to ‘build the platform’, and from a standing start began to develop a social networking outreach, which now tops 35,000 direct contacts.

His first two crime-thrillers, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK blew his mind with more than 75,000 e-link downloads/sales to date. The third in what has become the ‘Jack Calder’ series, SAVAGE PAYBACK, was launched late 2013. This was followed by KILLER CITY and DEADLY IMPASSE. Number#6, NO IMPUNITY is the current Jack Calder work-in-progress.

He started a humorous, informative, self-publishers blog five years ago, never having heard of a ‘blog’ prior to that, was voted ‘Blogger of the Year 2013’ and now has a loyal blog following on his networks. He says the novels contain his ‘Author’s Voice’, while the blog carries his ‘Author’s Brand’. And he’s LUVVIN IT!

Of late, during 2017-2018, he was pleased to have been commissioned to ghostwrite three different autobiographies, and also completed a collection of his ‘blurt-it-out’ style of poetry, A FEW POETRY STOPS IN A LIFE’S JOURNEY. Also added a couple of years ago, is a small guide to social network usage for self-publishers, SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES. Another addition to the portfolio is the venture into AudioBooks with his first title, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY.

I have only ever met Seumas Gallacher via the internet, in 2014, and yet I feel as though I’ve known the man for a very long time. We must have known each other in a past life … Seumas is very much the “International” part of my recommendations of authors, as he was born in Glasgow and now lives in Bahrain, but has lived in many other places around the world during his lifetime. (You may read all about this extraordinary life in his recently released autobiography listed below.) I’ve read everything Seumas has written and enjoyed it all immensely! But what I want to tell you about “that man” is what a truly genuine friend he has been to me and to so many other indie authors we’ve both come to know on the internet. He gives as good as he gets! And then some! Seumas promotes, reviews, hosts guests’ blog posts, and just generally gives a lot of support and encouragement to his fellow authors. But he’s also a great writer in his own right, so I’m very pleased to promote Seumas Gallacher here as one of my very favourite authors!

Plus … he’s the only author who has made a video in order to recite a poem about me!

Fact is often more incredible than fiction. Seumas Gallacher has survived long enough to savour places, characters and events for more than forty years in the Far East and the Arabian Gulf. He started life in Scotland, travelled far and wide as a wannabe Trainee Master of the Universe, but the Universe had other plans for him. From a career in banking, he escaped to become a corporate trouble-shooter. He discovered the joy and torture of becoming a wordsmith, writing five best-selling crime novels, a book of poetry, and being hyper-active on social media. ‘Strangely, I’m Still Here’ is his story.

Seumas wrote a blog post for me on the occasion of his having written and published this autobiography:

Seumas Gallacher … Writing my autobiography – the best therapy ever

For more information on Seumas Gallacher and all his books, please visit his blog.

Seumas Gallacher has been a guest many times on my blog Reading Recommendations.

Seumas has also appeared as a guest blogger on this main blog of mine and has hosted me a number of times on his blog. Here’s a list of those posts.

Seumas Gallacher … Writing my autobiography – the best therapy ever

Here’s a guest post from one of my favourite authors, Seumas Gallacher, published here on the occasion of the release of his new autobiography, STRANGELY I’M STILL HERE! I purchased and read a copy immediately upon its being listed, and I include my review here of the book, as well as an original piece that Seumas has provided to me for this guest blog post. (Links to purchase a copy of this book and all others written and published by him will be found at his own blogsite: Seumas Gallacher – Author

This is my review of Strangely, I’m Still Here: An Autobiography

What A Life!

I previously read everything Seumas Gallacher had written and published – fiction, non-fiction, poetry. So I was very motivated to purchase and read his autobiography and to find out more about this author whose work I had enjoyed so much. I thought I already knew quite a bit about the man, having followed him for many years on Facebook and through reading his blog. But this new book proved to be so much more, and gave me great insight into the life path and experiences, around the world as it turned out, that led to Gallacher becoming such an accomplished and engaging author.

If you have read anything previously published by Seumas Gallacher then you will definitely be interested in this autobiography. If you are new to his writing though and read Strangely, I’m Still Here first, and enjoy it as I’m sure you will, I’m positive you will want to read all his other books, too!

Seumas Gallacher’s Guest Blog Post:

Just over six weeks ago, I self-published my life story, STRANGELY, I’M STILL HERE, on Amazon Kindle. As with my other writing exploits, the Jack Calder crime thriller series, my book of poetry, and my author’s guide to publishing, an immense sense of pleasure engulfed me when I had finished the manuscript. However, the aftermath has been decidedly different with the memoir.

The ‘pink cloud’ sensation of elation has yielded to a much stronger feeling of having written something truly for myself and it is having a profound effect on me. When I broached the thought of penning my own experiences, I had no inkling of the cascading torrent of ‘after-light’ that has followed.

I find my mind rummaging back though many of the passages in the book, with powerful re-visitations of feelings and memories which had all but disappeared. Some of the people involved have long since passed away, but I have a deeper sense of how much gratitude I owe to their presence in my story.

Even the apparently negative episodes provided marvellous life lessons, which I only now have come to appreciate and respect at this distance in time. I also understand how much impact certain events and interludes with others have had on shaping my thinking and my attitude to living.

Although all of it was, and still remains, highly personal to me, it has been said many times before that nothing in this universe is absolutely brand new. It has all been seen, done and felt before. I am but a tiny speck on the planet, amongst billions of ‘fellow-specks’, whom I regard in a much different way than when I was a young man.
I have grown up. Older? Yes. Wiser? Who knows. Certainly, more experienced. Writing the memoir was the best therapy for life that I could ever have imagined, and I heartily recommend the exercise to anyone, writer or non-writer – I think they will much the richer for it.

 

I can never resist a man in a kilt!

Readers … resolve to read more in 2019!

HUGE THANKS to Allan Hudson for hosting me once again on his blog, South Branch Scribbler!
Following is much of that original post. Please visit Allan’s link to read in its entirety.

 

I am a reader and I read a lot of books! No matter how many I read however I never seem to catch up with my ginormous to-be-read stack/list of books. Even though I try to follow Dr. Seuss’s advice:

I never manage to come even close to catching up.

But then that’s part of the fun in reading, isn’t it? The search for new books to read, test-driving new authors’ writing, the joy in “discovering” a new-to-you book or even a genre that you’ve never read before. I’ve spent my entire life reading and working with books and authors and am an author now myself, yet I never tire of reading, thinking about, discussing, recommending and discovering new books!

I know there are many others out there just like me, too, so that’s why I say to you now – Make it your New Year’s resolution to read even more in 2019! You don’t need to count the books you do read, or compare numbers you’ve read with others. We are all different, we readers, not only in how fast we can read, but also in when and where we like to read, how we approach our reading, and even why or what we read in the first place. So no judgement calls here at all, folks! Just the suggestion that if you enjoy reading, you might want to make it a priority in your life to read even more.  I won’t go into the many ways that you can make more time to read. I’ll let you figure that out for yourself.

To help other readers along a little bit with suggestions as to what they might consider reading, I recently created a Facebook Group Your next great read … suggestions for readers and authors that I hope will not only generate lists of books and authors for other readers to enjoy reading, but also some discussion about books and reading in general. It’s an open group and anyone may join – authors too, because authors are (or should be!!) readers themselves. Self-promotion is allowed, but authors are requested to contribute information on other books and authors, as well. I would love to see – eventually – a large membership of readers from all around the world (and we already have the beginnings of an international group) who benefit from the reading experience of everyone. I’m particularly interested in world literature (although only what is available in English, in my case) so I would love to hear about authors in other countries, especially non-English-speaking, who are publishing books that are available in English translation. I know other members already contributing to the site are also interested in particular genres or types of writing. Why not join us and see if you find something new-to-you that becomes Your Next Great Read!

So, Readers, are you ready to resolve to read more in 2019? I hope so, and that you will consider joining us. And, if you’re not on Facebook but are still looking for ways to encourage yourself to stick with this resolution of reading more, I suggest you consider following these blogs …

(This one, of course!) Allan Hudson’s South Branch Scribbler

Seumas Gallacher’s blog

And my own blog, Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing (I’m planning on writing a series, actually, about all the How, When, Why, Where, What, and Who on reading – subscribe to my blog and Stay Tuned!)

I mention these blogs primarily because we three authors make a habit of promoting other authors and their books. We also all write or have written about writing and publishing as self-published authors and we reblog interesting articles and blog posts written by other authors as well. As my personal interest has swayed from selling books to finding more readers for writing in general, I’ve written a number of posts aimed at readers (as well as addressing directly authors who continue to promote their own work too much!). You might find something interesting in one of these articles:

Why not read books simply because they’re well-written?

A challenge to all Readers …

HOW to get promotion for yourself and your book … 

One Woman’s Island – in Bahrain!!!

It’s lovely, and somehow very fitting, to receive the first photo in the Where/Who in the World is Reading One Woman’s Island??? from none other than the great Seumas Gallacher – the author, reader, blogger, singer, supporter, pal, Billy Connolly-loving, Glaswegian-speaking, kilt-wearing Scotsman who now happens to live in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi!

Here he stands with my eBook cover visible on his eReader …

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Says Seumas: From one island to another .. . from the shores of Bahrain to those of Bequia… Master Gallacher… proud owner of his Kindle copy of m’Lady, Susan’s masterpiece! Cheeeeeeeers 🙂

Thank you, Seumas!

Seumas has been a guest over at my other blog, Reading Recommendations, several times now. Head on over there to see what he’s been writing and publishing. I’ve read every book That Man has created and I tell you truthfully I’ve immensely enjoyed reading every single one!

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A challenge to all Readers …

Earlier in the summer, I wrote and posted this to my blog: Why not read books simply because they’re well-written?

Then I asked Chris Graham, aka The Story Reading Ape, to create three memes that promoted three of the ideas I’d covered in this post: Ask for a meme …

For the purpose of this challenge, I want to focus on the suggestion in one of these memes …

IMG_6627

Why not, indeed?

I recently began following two Facebook pages that were set up for the benefit of Readers. The gist of both sites was an exchange of reading recommendations and a place where readers could find out what they might want to read next. On the one site, there were a lot of rules posted restricting Indie Authors as to how much they could self-promote. Understandably so. However, authors were also restricted from posting links to our own blogs, and I was reprimanded by admin., even though my blog link in question was a list of the best books I had read this past year and not self-promotion at all. I’d apparently over-stepped the limit of one self-promotion post per week on the site. I’ve removed all my previous posts from that site and have stopped posting there altogether. I know, it is their site and they are allowed to make and administer the rules. But, in the meantime, other site members will never see that list of books by other authors I was recommending they consider reading. Not my own books, mind you, but the books of many other fine authors.

Meanwhile, I continue to read posts by other site members in which they’re asking for reading recommendations – and contributing to discussions surrounding reading books written by the same-old bestselling authors or series or genres that the members have already been reading. And no one is asking for something new, something different, something outside of their comfort zone. An author who is new-to-them who will make the reader stand up and take notice and have that reader recommending the author to every other reader they know.

So, this is my challenge to all readers out there … And this includes all authors, as well, because you’re all also readers, right? (If you answer “No” to that, then SHAME ON YOU! You SHOULD be reading. You can’t write well if you don’t read. But that leads us to another blog post: Writer = Reader. And I digress …)

Here’s what I challenge all Readers to do:

1. Discover a new-to-you author. Look for authors who write a different genre than you usually read.

2. Purchase a copy of their book or borrow from the library. (Preferably purchase. I understand if you can’t afford to buy. However, I give you the inimitable Seumas Gallacher as an example of someone who supports Indie Authors by making a point of purchasing one Indie-Authored book a month. That kind of committment is not going to break the bank.)

3. Read.

4. If you enjoyed what you read, tell your friends and other readers. And if you REALLY enjoyed what you read, become a champion of that author. Read more of their books. Follow them on Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, their blog. Write a review if you like to write reviews. Post your recommendation to your own blog or social media sites. Spread the word about this new-to-you author as far as you possibly can. (If you want to write a review and don’t have your own blog or don’t like posting to Amazon, contact me about publishing your review on reading recommendations reviewed or this blog.)

5. Write to the author directly to tell them how much you enjoyed their book. Trust me! We love receiving fan mail!!

6. Repeat #s 1-5. Many times.

Simple, right?

I know you’re probably thinking, “It’s easy for her to say. She’s an author who has connections to lots of other authors and knows where to find new books to read. Where the heck am I going to find these new-to-me authors and their books?”

Well, yes, I am well connected, but I have discovered many of the authors I now enjoy reading by watching for listings on Goodreads, Facebook, and mainly through other bloggers. So here’s a list of places where you might consider looking for suggestions on the next great book you’re going to read so you may become part of my challenge!

My blogs (of course):
Reading Recommendations
reading recommendations reviewed
And specific blog posts:
Best Books Read 2016 – Part 1
Best Books Read 2016 – Part 2

And blogs written by many friends who support their fellow authors:
Seumas Gallacher
Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life, Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore
Chris The Story Reading Ape – Authors Hall of Fame
Allan Hudson – South Branch Scribbler
Tricia Drammeh – Authors to Watch
Dylan Hearn – Suffolk Scribblings: Recommended Reads
Anne Logan – I’VE READ THIS
Mary Bailey – 1WriteWay: A Different Kind of Book Review
Happymeerkatreviews

There are many, many more. I leave it up to you, Readers, to discover the best places for finding your own new-to-you authors. Don’t forget the local library, too! Most libraries have websites, and librarians are always eager to create and post lists of books that will be of interest to their patrons. (And, thanks to Calgary Public Library, my first novel, Island in the Clouds, has been listed on two such lists, their Around the World in 14 Mysteries and Accidental Sleuths and my second novel on the eponymously named One Woman’s Island recommendations!)

One other source for discovering new-to-you authors – especially poets, in this case – and even new-to-you music, as well, is Bob Chelmick’s The Road Home. This is 24-hour streaming of Bob’s radio program’s that have long been featured on CKUA Radio. Give it a listen. It’s addicting!! (I’m listening as I write this and just heard one of my favourite authors, Robert Kroetsch, reading his poetry.)

So, off you go! You’ll find a lot of fun in the discovery, but I hope you find even more enjoyment in the reading!

Ready, set … READ!

(No need to comment here that you’re taking my challenge, unless you do find a new-to-you author you’d like to crow about. I always welcome accolades for authors! And if you already review books and authors on your own blog, please include your link in the comments section below.)

GoReadMe! Campaign – Susan M. Toy’s books

In August this year, I had a great idea … and the very kind Seumas Gallacher allowed me space on his blog to not only write about the GoReadMe! Campaign, but also offered to be the first to have his books promoted using it.

He’s a brave man! While we may not have reached the target of readers we wished to attract within the time period we allowed, there were a fair number of new readers who discovered Gallacher’s books through this promotion, so I was pleased with the response.

I’m back now to do the same for my own writing, since I recently published a new novel in the Bequia Perspectives series. Here’s the background to the idea:

First, let’s go back a little way in time to a blog post I published in March of this year on the perennial subject that’s of interest to all authors – Looking for Readers in All the Right Places. (I had actually blogged about this dilemma a couple of times previous and those links are included in this post. If you are an author looking for readers then I suggest you read about all my previous ideas.)

We’re all familiar with the GoFundMe campaigns. They come in many different guises and are meant to help creators and business people raise the necessary funds required to launch and cover the expenses of producing a project by involving their friends directly in that financing.

So I posed the question, What about setting up a campaign called GoReadMe, and instead of raising money we raise awareness for reading and reading our books in particular?

That’s essentially the idea and how the campaign came to life. Here’s how it works:

We make the announcement that we are beginning a GoReadMe! Campaign for an author and we’re looking for 50 new readers who will “pledge” to read either one of the author’s books or a specific title. Not only will they pledge to read the book themselves, but they’ll also agree to recommend that book to another reader who will join in on the GoReadMe! Campaign. That way, we only need to find 25 unique readers, because those new readers will find the other 25 for us. The campaign lasts a month, during which time the author, and the author’s friends, promote the campaign, and the author keeps a public tally on their blog of the number of people who have pledged, and their names (or those who wish to remain “anonymous”), who have committed to reading a book and finding other new readers for it. Simple!

And, if friends have already read the author’s book(s) but still wish to become involved in the GoReadMe! Campaign, they can help by promoting this idea to their friends, encouraging others to become involved in reading this author’s great books!

In the end, what the “Readers” receive by pledging in this way is a warm/fuzzy feeling of not only discovering and reading a new book by a great author, but also the knowledge that they are helping to promote reading in general by becoming involved in this campaign in particular and encouraging more people to read.

By the way, I believe that the personal recommendation of a book by a friend is a much more effective way (word-of-mouth) of promoting a book than any review on Amazon or Goodreads, so that’s why I’m not suggesting that “write a review” be a requisite for readers pledging to take part in this campaign. No pressure, folks! Just pledge to read the book and find at least one other new reader. What can be simpler than that?

So, without further ado …

Announcing … the GoReadMe! Campaign for Susan M. Toy!

We need 50 people to pledge to read at least one of Susan’s books (listed below) and to recommend to one other reader that they do the same. You have 30 Days during which to pledge. This Campaign ends on Jan. 8, 2017. Please sign up in the comments section of this blog post. Thanks for taking part in this new GoReadMe! Campaign!

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One Woman’s Island

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Island in the Clouds

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That Last Summer

(By the way, ALL of my eBooks are available on Overdrive for libraries worldwide. If you prefer to read borrowed eBooks from your local library, you will be doing me a huge favour by recommending the library consider adding my book(s) to their collecction. Thank you!!)

There you have it, Folks! Please consider pledging (below in the comments section) and recommending my books to other readers. Share and retweet this post at will! Let’s try to make this GoReadMe! Campaign idea a “Thing”, okay?

Finally!! The wait is over … nearly

It’s been one-month-and-a-day since I wrote this Guest Post on Seumas Gallacher’s blog, in which I listed the 10 ways I was dealing with having to wait for my editor, Rachel Small, to finish her edit of my recently completed novel, One Woman’s Island (the second in the Bequia Perspectives series).

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I’m happy to tell you now that Rachel did get that manuscript back to me in plenty of time so I could revise and fix it up to meet the deadline for a contest I linked to in this earlier blog post. And I did make it, too – with an entire day-and-a-half to spare!

And so I wait … again. But this time only for another week until the shortlist is announced. Once I know my novel’s fate, I’ll be able to determine when I can go ahead and ePublish.

In the meantime, I’ll be sorting through ways to promote this new book and figure out how I’m going to afford the cost of printing copies, for those who prefer print .. and for The Bequia Bookshop to sell, come tourist season.

I’ve also been helping both Tim Phillips and Michael Fay publish new eBooks through IslandCatEditions and Island Shorts.

And I’m making changes in my head to the third Bequia Perspectives novel, Tropical Paradox. But there’s a great deal of work yet to be done on the manuscript, so don’t expect to hear an announcement about that any time soon!

A PDF of One Woman’s Island is circulating among a few trusted friends/readers (especially those who know Bequia) and I’m hoping for an honest opinion of the book in advance of publishing. I’ll also ask to use any favourable comments in future promotion once the eBook is released. Already I’ve been sent over-the-top comments from one Bequia friend who read a pre-edited version, so I’m hoping other advance readers will be similarly pleased with this new novel. I’m all goose-pimply now, waiting for their comments …

But at least this time I haven’t had to mow the lawn to pass the time, since Dennis has been visiting the trailer. We did decide yesterday to subscribe to the park’s internet service though and, as predicted, I’ve been online pretty much the entire time since we first logged in. So pathetic. One thing is that being online (mostly playing on Facebook) does pass the time. While I wait.

And they do say that good things come to those who wait. Here’s hoping THEY are correct!

Resources for Authors …

I’ve gathered together the Best of the Best! Here’s a list of bloggers – friends of this site, every one! – who offer services to authors, mainly in the area of promotion (guest blogs, reviews, interviews), but also design covers design, create trailers, and edit. Most of these services are free, but for some there is a charge. With the exception of Chris The Story Reading Ape, all are authors themselves, and they have been promoted on my own blog, Reading Recommendations. I’ve included links back to their promotions on my blog. I encourage you to check out their blog links to see what they have to offer, and also buy and read their books, while you’re at it!

tsra-sketch-02-1024x684 Chris Graham (Friend to all Indie Authors!) – Chris The Story Reading Ape

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11942321_415085482024566_2343643988952741064_o Sally CroninSmorgasboard – Variety is the Spice of Life

Tricia DrammehAuthors to Watch me

logo Janice SpinaJemsBooks

Allan HudsonSouth Branch Scribbler 12821608_1743938849173975_3479675423719876312_n

me Don MassenzioAuthor Talk

Kevin BrennanScribable: Indie Editing Service sonoma-county Kevin also posts a lot of great information on his blog about writing, publishing and the direction we’re moving in with regards to creating books and finding readers for them.

If you’d like to be listed on a future blog post and outline services you offer to authors (and I’d particularly like to list book reviewers here) please let me know your link (email me at susanmtoy (at) gmail.com) and tell me what it is you can do for us. If you’ve already been promoted on Reading Recommendations … Bonus!

We have four winners!

Remember that contest I ran on this blog last week, the one where readers could enter a draw to win a print copy of Seumas Gallacher’s novel, Vengeance Wears Black, by answering a skill-testing question?

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Well, we received four comments from readers who correctly answered that the tribute poem Seumas had written and “performed” for me was loosely based on Robert W. Service’s The Shooting of Dan McGrew and that he wrote and performed it on the occasion of the second anniversary of my author promotion blog, Reading Recommendations.

Now, because Seumas Gallacher is a such a generous and kindly sort of fellow – and this is the way his kilt swings … he decided to send each of the four women who had entered the draw a signed print copy of his book! So there will soon be copies winging their way to Mary Smith, Janice Spina, Cinthia Ritchie and Emma Biddulph! I know you’re all going to love reading it, too, because I’ve read everything written by That Man, and I tell you – he’s always at the top of my list of favourite authors!

So you just never know what prizes await you whenever you read my blog … and Seumas’s blog, for that matter! Stay tuned for more opportunities in the future.

I also want to take a moment here to tell you that today this blog of mine passed 1700 subscribers! Thanks to everyone who reads the blog, and to those many faithful followers among you who continue to like, comment, share, reblog. I could never have come this far without all of you!

I’ll close this with one last treat … a reprise of Seumas Gallacher’s celebratory video! Enjoy!

And thank you again, kind sir, for making all of this possible! Mwahhh!