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An Interesting Exchange

August 13, 2018

Author’s love to get emails. Scratch that, we love to get non-spam emails.

This one was interesting. “The writing was excellent, but the Christian undertones bothered me, so I can’t recommend it…”

After thanking him for writing, I asked what kind of books he enjoyed. Sci-fi, of course, fantasy, Harry Potter, and a few other magic-based books.

“So you’re a witch/warlock/Wiccan?” I asked.

“No, of course not,” he responded.

“If you don’t have to be a warlock to enjoy magic-based books, why do you have to be a Christian to enjoy Christian-based novels?”

In his response, he admitted to starting and stopping his email, until he had to admit that I was right. Suspension of disbelief is easy for somethings, and harder for other things. He said he’d have to think about why it bothered him, and that he hoped I didn’t mind if he emailed back when he formulated his thoughts.

While I admit there are Christian undertones to Me and the Maniac in Outer Space, it isn’t overwhelming. It’s not an evangelical book, I’m not trying to convert anyone, yet even the little that was there is a stumbling block to some.

Kinda funny.


The Clock Has Wound Down…!

June 8, 2018

You might be wondering why we gave away Always Look for the Magic by Bonnie Manning Anderson for FREE (and now for the low cost of $3.97)…Always Look for the Magic by [Manning Anderson, Bonnie]

There are a few reasons for book giveaways.

  1. To make you fall in love with the author’s writing and characters so you’ll buy the new book. That isn’t why we’re doing Bonnie’s book for free, though. She will have a new book in 2019, if not earlier (right, Bonnie?!)
  2. Reviews are vital to a book’s success. We put Bonnie’s book on your Kindle FOR FREE because we want you to review it on Amazon. Go ahead, be brutally honest. It’s a great book and we don’t fear negative comments because you’d have to be wacko to dislike it. Amazonians look to reviews. The more reviews, the more likely people will buy it. If you’ve downloaded it (and you should, even for $3.97!), read and review, please. Or if your child reads it, review with their insights.
  3. Ranking: The more people who downloaded it, the higher the book goes in Amazon ranking, which gives it preferential display on Amazon. Again, sales oriented.
  4. We’re not just profit-oriented, though, we’re reader-focused. Who doesn’t like a great yarn they get for free?
  5. Teachers don’t make a lot of money. They can preview a book worthy to add to their reading list for students. And Always Look for the Magic is a great student reading assignment. Ideal for English and History classes, Bonnie’s book should be on every reading list.
  6. Sales, reviews, and ranking also motivate a writer to sit down and write! I can tell you when I got a phone call from a reader of my novel Do Angels Still Fall (not free, but low-cost on Amazon), the eagerness of her questions made be burn to write another book (I did, Me and the Maniac in Outer Space. It’s a big book, also low-cost as Kindle and slightly more expensive as a paperback).
  7. You win when you encourage a writer to write. Good stories lower stress, improved outlook, and it helps you lose weight (OK, one of those isn’t true; I’ll let you guess which one).

This is a link-heavy post, and kick me for not posting this earlier, but MEET BONNIE! This YouTube video gives you a look into her story.  It’s still inexpensive, download it TODAY. If you call me friend, or Bonnie friend, or want a great story, do it, do it, do it!

Also learn about Bonnie on her author page!

You’ll be glad you did. And just think, you can get all the books above for the cost of a single hardcopy book. This looks like a weekend for reading…

Yes! You Should Own a Kindle!

June 7, 2018

There, I said it. In today’s world, you should own a Kindle. I should know, I own 15 of ‘em (each family member has a couple early generations, a PaperWhite, and a Fire. We are a Kindle family. For the record, I also own a Barnes & Nobel Nook for some reason that I can’t fathom.)

I can hear it now: “I love the smell of books!” Fine, Amazon has many Book-scented candles, and there’s even book-scented perfume, so dab some on your wrists and you’ll get a whiff every time you swipe.

“I love to turn the pages!” Swiping, turning, same motion. And no one is saying you need to give up paper books. I still read ‘em, yet still have a Kindle. Where you carry a book, I carry a library. If you’re a magazine lover, how often have you misplaced one, lost one, spilled coffee on one, had a spouse who threw out the six-foot stack of yellowed magazines?  I have my magazines in the Newstand tab. Never lost, never yellowed, and coffee doesn’t sink in and stain.

Amazon has priced them so low you can’t/shouldn’t say no. $49 for a Fire. That’s a good, cheap tablet. My wife plays games on hers, my daughter watches NetFlix on hers, another YouTube, one listens to books being read to her. We even have cookbooks on them. You can cruise the Internet, subscribe to blogs, and text, Skype, or even write.

Here are my top seven reasons for owning a Kindle:

7.  Never get stuck without something to read. Sure, you can read things on your phone, but that can’t be good for your eyes.

6.  Save the rain forest. Paper books, while wonderful, are an ecological disaster. Save a tree, buy a Kindle.

5.  Declutter your life. I admit we haven’t. We have stacks of magazines, books, games, yet we could throw away almost all of them.

4.  Mini-tablets are used more than full-sized tablets. My Kindle goes everywhere with me; my tablet doesn’t. For one thing, the tablet is expensive and I don’t want to risk losing it. The Fire is smaller, fits my back pocket in a pinch, and is easy to replace.

3.  Mental diversion. Yes, you can check Facebook and all that, but sometimes your mind needs a break. Solitaire, chess, Amazon shopping (!), and a bunch of other free games.

2.  Without a Kindle, you’re missing hundreds of thousands of books that aren’t in the bookstore or library. Traditional publishing is caving; non-traditional publishers and self-publishers are circumventing the uninterested traditional publishers and using Amazon as their sole storefront. With free services like Awesome Gang, BookBub and many others, you can get lists of free and low-cost indie books available on Amazon. I’ll be the first to admit, there are some horribly written self-published books. Some of the ones from BookBub at the beginning were bad, but most that I’ve been getting in the last year are good, some have been great. You can curate the kinds of books they notify you about. These are authors promoting their books, offering great deals.

Always Look for the Magic by [Manning Anderson, Bonnie]1. THE NUMBER ONE REASON I think you should own a Kindle is to get Prevail Press books. They are always low-cost in the Kindle format, also available in print, and sometime (like NOW), we do promotions with FREE books. For no other reason to have a Kindle, it’s to enjoy Bonnie Manning Anderson’s wonderful book Always Look for the Magic absolutely FREE (until tomorrow, so get it today!).

The publishing world has irrevocably changed. The big publishing houses are only publishing books that will be hits; authors with giant platforms, and trend-of-the-moment books that don’t even have to be good (re: Twilight) are traditionally published, the only requirement is a sure-fire best-seller. This is a degradation of their brand is going to soon put bookstores out of business. Nothing wrong with profit, but great stories are turned down because it doesn’t fit the current trend.

No disrespect to owners of Nooks, but they are high-cost, severely limited devices. They don’t read Kindle books, so you’re losing out on millions of books, and I suspect they will no longer have a storefront to tap into. Prediction, Barnes & Noble will close their doors within three years and their online store will die within two years after that.

Kindle’s where it’s at, baby!

Own a Kindle? Tell us how you use yours – I just scratched the surface of what they can do.

And get Always Look for the Magic absolutely FREE today!

Visit Prevail Press!

*This is not a paid endorsement, I don’t even have a referral account. All these opinions are mine, and therefore right, and your mileage may vary.

Do You Know What Your Children Are Reading?

June 6, 2018

* It seems the world is intent on making our kids grow up faster than they should. From gory, adult-themed TV shows and movies (many based on kid’s stories) to, even more insidiously, in the books they read.

Color me surprised to find things like cutting, hashing, sharking, and other self/other-harm practices in the stories kids and teens are reading today.

I realize that’s the pot calling the kettle black; I had no restrictions on reading material when I was a kid. I read JAWS as a pre-teen, and other brown-paper bag books as a child. I can attest to what reading such adult-themed material can do to a forming brain (I’m still scrubbing my mind daily).

Imagine my surprise when I discovered young-reader books with horrible content.

As a publisher, I’m dedicated to keeping kid’s books for kids (that includes my own books, which have evolving themes, but don’t tread into crude or damaging material).

Image result for always look for the magicThat’s why I’m so excited about Always Look for the Magic by Bonnie Manning Anderson. Her Depression-era characters are KIDS. Real, wonderful, kids who face challenges appropriate for their age (that’s saying something with the adult-stress that existed during the Depression). How did Bonnie do it? She had her hero’s parents treat their children as parents did, shielding them from the harsher truths of life. We could learn something there. It’s also why it’s a joy for adults to read; there is a level between the lines that they can pick up but their kids won’t.

And don’t for a second think her story is watered-down. It’s not. It’s both delightful and real. Artie wants to be a magician and he pursues that dream as a boy would, taking his and his brother in one misadventure after another.

I think you should meet Artie, Tommy, and Paul, so much so that Always Look for the Magic is FREE in Kindle format for a few more days! Ideal for grade school readers, historical fiction readers, and American nostalgia enthusiasts, this book is a quick, fun read. Get it today!

Don’t have a Kindle? Read tomorrow’s post, but don’t despair now, because with the free Kindle App, you can read ebooks on your tablet, phone or computer.

*Cross-pollinated from my other blog to reach all my readers. If you’re seeing both, forward one to a friend. 🙂

Labor of Love

June 5, 2018

Yesterday (and many other days), I alluded to how important child/parent relationships are and how regular conversation is desperately important to becoming a well-adjusted adult (presuming the conversations are appropriate).

Bonnie Manning Anderson is a great example of the principle, not only with how she and Bob raised their kids, but also the relationship she has with her parents.

Always Look for the Magic (FREE on Amazon through Friday; get your copy today!) is based on a fictionalize account of her mother and father’s youth. Artie is a version of Bonnie’s father Arthur. He really was a talented magician and started his journey much as Artie did; her uncle was her dad’s best friend, and her mother really was… but that would be giving it away, now, wouldn’t it?

How accurate is the story? While it was Bonnie’s dad’s stories that inspired the book, it was her mother’s memories that fleshed out the era with great detail.

Does that mean this wonderful book is really Historical NON-Fiction? Not at all. It might be an alternate universe version of her dad (but it isn’t science fiction), yet Bonnie’s Artie is an homage to her dad, but Artie is his own man (or boy).

Funny story, I wasn’t really getting along with my dad when I was an idiot teenager, but he was the first person I ever voted for. I didn’t tell him that at the time, but it tickled him when I finally did tell him.

Image result for always look for the magicImagine being Bonnie. Her FIRST BOOK is about her love for her parents! Her first draft was finished before Arthur passed away; he got to hear it, and I guarantee he was blessed by it… an understatement, I’m sure.

That’s a book that should be read! Did I mention you can get it free today and through Friday? But don’t wait, get it today!

When you click the link and see that it’s the Kindle version that is free and you don’t have a Kindle (buy one!), don’t worry, you can download the Kindle App and read it on your tablet or computer.

Don’t forget to leave a review when you finish this great book!

Lazy Days and Sundays

June 4, 2018

As a kid in grade school, chances were good that if you stopped by my house on any given day you’d find me on the couch with my nose buried in a book.

My standards were pretty simple:  A story had to transport me to somewhere else with a seamless experience that never dropped me from the location. Simple, but not easy, as any author can tell you.

By those standards, Always Look for the Magic by Bonnie Manning Anderson is a Image result for always look for the magicflyaway success. From the first pages, I was immersed in a world not my own. The Great Depression was long before my time; mine was a period of TV, refrigerators, microwaves and blue jeans.

Artie’s world had no TV, but radio, no quickie kitchen gadgets, and clothes that might have included suspenders and knee-high pants. I knew what it was like to live a life close to the ground instead with a head in the airwaves.

What I love about this book (besides that it’s FREE in Kindle format on Amazon until this Friday) is that the world of yesterday comes alive! Problem-solving was a hands-on experience, not a Google search away. As a result, Artie and his pals concoct schemes and plans to achieve their vague goals that go horribly wrong. What fun!

From an adult perspective, I feel for the parents trying to keep their kids in ignorance of the fiscal nightmare that was the 20’s (and perhaps is a bit too real for some of our world’s struggling citizens today). You see, a good grade school book has to show some of the adult world that goes over the main character’s AND the young reader’s heads, and therefore is enjoyable by adult readers, as well.

This is important because (hear my constant refrain) parents and their kids MUST have conversations if the kids are going to come out right. When we stop talking to our kids is when we start losing them. Books are a great way to open discussion. This book is ideal for that. Your children might have questions about the time period, where your family was at that time, where YOU or your parents were at that time… This is how kids lay roots.

For the rest of the week, Always Look for the Magic is FREE on Amazon in the Kindle format. Do you prefer a hardcopy book? That’s available too, not free, but still a steal.

Go ahead, get transported!

Always Look for the Magic

June 4, 2018

Not only is that good advice, it’s the title of a great book that I’ll be blogging about all week. Why? Because it’s FREE this week for Kindle, and Kindle Apps.

My company, Prevail Press, has made a commitment to win-win-win in all our books. Every Kindle version will be $3.99 or less, and every now and then we’ll offer a FREE Kindle version.

Why? You ask…

You, the reader, wins with a great story. The author wins through higher Amazon ranking, and honest reviews, which helps with sales. The publisher wins because we exist to make Authors and Readers happy!

See the source imageAlways Look for the Magic, by Bonnie Manning Anderson is a great book (and FREE for a week). I’ll tell you a little bit about the whyfor behind the writing of the book over the next couple days, but what you need to know now is that it is a charming adventure of a pair of brothers, their friend, and their family as they struggle through the Depression while Artie tries to become a magician, like his headlining hero.

This is a grade school novel, but don’t for a second think it isn’t enjoyable for older readers. Bonnie is a talented writer who crafts a story kids will enjoy and that has element that adults would recognize as truths for a family under stress.  Kids, families, Historical Fiction lovers, and the folks who lived through or just after the Great Depression would find tremendous value in this book.

Personally, as an author and parent, I look for books that will foment conversation between kids and their parents. Always Look for the Magic is one of those books.

If you don’t have a Kindle (why not?! They’re so inexpensive!), you can still read this book on tablets and computers with the handy Kindle App.

If you love a good story, and love FREE, hop over to Amazon and purchase (for FREE) today!