Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Book Review: Social Engineer by Ian Sutherland

by M. J. Joachim




In a world where high tech is quickly becoming the rule, complete with innovative strategies to compromise personal, private and public security, a very real scenario where human error is taken to extremes, because base existence of wholly natural human chatter is often the source of extreme breaches of confidentiality, Social Engineer by Ian Sutherland does absolutely nothing to ease our minds or calm our fears! It is in fact the antithesis of everything we full heartedly want to believe, knowing full well, that Social Engineer is undoubtedly more accurate than many of us will ever want to know.

White hats and black hats, above board hackers and underground hackers - IT specialists in every sense of the word, ordinary, interesting people capable of lying and deceiving even the most astute persons, vigilant beyond reason in their desire to protect themselves and their businesses from any hacker who’d dare so much as attempt to take them down, only to be exposed for their weaknesses, made to feel stupid in the process of realizing just how vulnerable they really are, which ultimately makes everyone else around them vulnerable too.

Firewalls be damned! This is the real world and everyone one in it is potentially at risk; there is no safety net to catch us, though we do have tools available to minimize the gravity of the situation. More than that, we have our own intelligence to put on heightened alert, as we attempt to outsmart the hackers, or at the very least recognize who they are. Can you tell by looking at one? I doubt it! Are the white hats truly as honest as they seem, when they are constantly tempted to betray their personal integrity for any variety of reasons, including love interests? Yea, I’m somehow not thinking that’s a safe bet either.

Social Engineer is an interesting and intense, short novella, a preview to the much longer Brody Taylor series being written by Ian Sutherland. There are times when the book is a little slow, as Sutherland explains the technology taking place behind the scenes, but it’s important background information for the fullness of the story, so this is actually a perk, as opposed to a detriment. I enjoyed the book, and am glad I have a few strange security measures in place in my own defense.

It all makes me wonder what we’ve come to and just how far we’ll go, the sign of a good book that forces additional thoughts beyond the story. Mystery, suspense and a bit of relationship tension - both in the office and on the home front, this book has quite a bit going for it, so I think you’ll be pleased to pick up a copy today.

I’m working hard to keep up with all the books being sent to me, but I’ve also been fairly busy with a few family things lately, so thank you for being patient while I continue moving forward, sometimes a bit slower than the norm, but always with your best interest and writing careers at heart.

Also, remember you can send me free book promos to publish on this blog. Please take a look at the following posts for information and examples. Anything you send will be considered for publication, or tailored by me to work with the current blog format and style already determined. The easier you make it on me, the higher chance you have of receiving a free book promotion here. 





Please share this review to help get the word out about the book.

Thanks so much for visiting today. Happy reading, writing and whatever else you do!

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Review: Mason the Mutt by Russ Hughes and KayeC Jones

by M. J. Joachim

                                             

                               


As the owner of a rescue dog myself, the story of Mason the Mutt hit home. My little guy wandered the streets for over a year, according to the workers at the pound who found him. He’s a scrounge named Shadow, and many of you have met him here on this blog before. I’ve always wondered what might have happened to him, and how his personality might have changed because of it. Mason the Mutt almost makes me not want to know, something I don’t have to worry about, because it’s unlikely I’ll ever find out anyway.

The reality is that kids really do wonder about pets being left abandoned or mistreated by their owners. These topics are addressed on the news, talked about in our communities and clearly defined in pet stores all the times. Kids are already exposed to the harsh realities of cruel people abandoning and mistreating their pets, which is why Mason the Mutt could provide some extremely important information to them.

This is the story about a little dog who gets abandoned, meets new (doggie) friends in his quest to stay warm, fed and safe, and pretty much feels lonely and unloved and unlovable, because he has no clue why his owner was so cruel. Unfortunately, neither do the rest of us, other than to say life isn’t always kind.

Mason makes his way until one day he is captured by the dog catcher, taken to the pound and left to fend for himself in a cold, hard cage. Other dogs there try to be friendly with him, but he’s stuck in a rut, sad, lonely and hurt. It’s a perfectly normal response to everything he’s been through. This is an opening for parents and teachers to discuss feelings, not only about abandoned and mistreated animals, but about some very real human problems like bullying too.

When all is said and done, Mason survives and discovers he is worthy of being loved, and there are a lot of good reasons to remain hopeful when so many things seem to be going wrong. There are so many small teaching moments in this little story, that it is definitely worth adding to your child’s library. This isn’t a feel good picture book, but rather a little picture book full of a lot of messages regarding caring for our animal friends, and if one thinks outside the box, using the content of this little story to relate to some important things humans go through too. This is a book that will make children think, and perhaps when it does, they will think about how much better the world would be if everyone were just a little more kind.

I hope you enjoyed this book review of Mason the Mutt today. Please share it and let others discover this intriguing picture book, so they can benefit from it too.

Thank you so much. Until next time, my friends,

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Book Review: Cerulean Rising: Evolutions by Justin Sewall

by M. J. Joachim




Entertaining a bit of history, political tug-of-war and spiritual reflection, Cerulean Rising: Evolutions, a sequel to Cerulean Rising: Beginnings, engages readers with a space war between aliens and humans, in interplanetary galaxies, fought among spaceships where leaders have far reaching agendas, not always in cohesive adaptation with the unscrutinized goals and best interest of all persons involved. It is fair to say that leaders want what they want, regardless of the consequences or loss of life, human or otherwise, in a battle where the end justifies the means.

It’s a tough tale to digest in the most pleasant of circumstances, because too many times it rings true in real life. War is ugly, no matter which species are fighting it. Prisoners of war pay a high price for being held captive. Some are never released, others die a thousand deaths through their tortures, while still others succumb to the slavery that entraps them, as they hope and wait for a hero, some mysterious or dominant being they’ve always known and trusted, to rescue them from their plight.

Dire, direct and otherwise, Sewall’s book kicks you in the stomach, especially if you read beyond the detailed and characteristically real scenery, where trivens and ai’s dominate much of what is being played out in the far expanses of the galaxies. Space war is not an easy concept to digest, its consequences dire and ultimately permanent due to the vastness of the universe.

Cerulean Rising: Evolutions is an interesting and qualified story, one that will undoubtedly satisfy science fiction fans, while tapping into a broader market due to its intriguing messages. There are some very profound things to think about after reading this book, which is one of the many reasons I found it so enjoyable to read.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Please share this review with others, so they can discover Mr. Sewall’s book too.

Happy reading, writing and whatever else you do,

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Book Review: The Wandering Troll by Russell Hughes and KayC Jones

by M. J. Joachim




Traveling through seasons and various regions of the earth, including mountains, deserts and swamps, The Wandering Troll makes his way around the globe in search of … well, he doesn’t really know what he’s searching for exactly. He only knows there’s some deep longing for something better, so he sets out on a journey.

Hearts crave what they need, often becoming dissatisfied with everything else they find, until they find their true desire. Life is like that, as we make our way through it, not always knowing what we’re looking for, but knowing we’ll be happy when we find it - if we ever do, because as is often the case, we don’t know what we’re looking for, and it can get a little frustrating finding the wrong thing all the time. It’s a lot to process, I know.

A picture says a thousand words, and the pictures in The Wandering Troll might actually say a few more than that. Children will enjoy the bright colors, picking out various things in each page of the story. Very young kids will be able to pick out colors, shapes and letters, while older children will benefit more from the overall message of this book. It’s a nice one to put on your tablet, and let the kids enjoy ereading. Oh my, did I just make a new word? Nah, I’m sure somebody else already beat me to it. Regardless, this is one I’d add to the list of stories worth getting for kids.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Oh, and don’t forget to share this review, so we can get the word out about this fine book for kids.

Happy reading, writing and whatever else you do.

Best to all,

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Book Review: The Day the Aunts Disappeared by Russell Hughes and KayeC Jones

by M. J. Joachim



In a play on words, using the very familiar homonyms ant and aunt, The Day the Aunts Disappeared creates a uniquely fun story from the perspective of an anteater and his community, where the anteater is always hungry, but the community is not thrilled, because he is eating all their aunts. Greg wanders through town completely unable to help himself, while he seriously helps himself, causing far too many relatives to get upset, because no one wants to lose their aunts. Does that make any sense to you at all?

Probably not, because this is one of those silly stories every young child loves to read, the type where food is plentiful, gas flows readily and all works out in the end - literally. The nice thing about this story is that people were understanding and compassionate, perhaps to a fault, because I’m not sure I’d have been nearly as forgiving if some hungry animal had come along and eaten my aunt.

As is expected from Cozy Bear Studios, the artwork in these stories is phenomenal. For those who don’t know, Cozy Bear Studios is where author and illustrator Hughes and Jones, a husband and wife team, create their stories together. I’ve reviewed a couple of their stories so far, and find them a lot of fun. One of the neat things about these stories is that so far, since I haven’t read and reviewed them all yet, none of them are the same. The stories are completely different, and the artwork is too, which makes it all the more entertaining, because with each story being unique, kids will enjoy them all.

On another note, I’m not fond of gas, and this particular story might just make you gassy, or at the very least cause your child to mimic a few less than polite sounds after reading it. It’s only fair to warn you, after all. None-the-less, I think you and your kids will really get a big kick out of this book. 

Thank you so much for stopping by, and please don't forget to share this post with those who might benefit from it. Thanks again!

Happy reading, writing and whatever else you do,

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 13, 2016

How to Get Better Reviews on Your Book

by M. J. Joachim




As much as we like to think writing is all about writing, and our words will do the work on their own, writing a book is as much about publishing, promoting and marketing, as it is about getting the words on the page. Very few books will actually sell themselves, so we need to get the word out about our books, which means taking on the task of finding qualified reviewers willing to read our books and give them that much needed stamp of approval.

I’ve been reviewing books for years now, and one of the things I’ve learned is that writers sometimes have a difficult time when it comes to marketing their work and getting positive reviews for their books. There are numerous reasons for this, so I’ve taken the liberty of sharing my perspective as a reviewer and an author in my new book release of M. J. Joachim’s Book Review Guide: How to Get Better Reviews on Your Book. The book went live last night, and in it you will find a plethora of information to help you get positive reviews on your book.

This is the type of resource every writer needs, and one I hope you will find exceptionally useful in your writing and publishing endeavors. Not only have I covered the basics, but I’ve also shared some valuable references, so you can find the perfect reviewer for your book, as well as some insights on how to get a reviewer to notice your book out of all the requests she receives. 
It is with you in mind that I wrote this book, so I truly hope it makes a difference in your experience and success as a writer. For about the price of a cup of coffee, you can get a copy of M. J. Joachim's Book Review Guide. I hope you pick up a copy today.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Wishing you every success with your reading, writing and whatever else you do. Have a fabulous weekend! Oh, and please share this post. Thank you!

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Free Book Promo: Small Business Big Pressure by Darryl Lyons

A Faith-based Approach to Guide the Ambitious Entrepreneur 

by M. J. Joachim




In the interest of helping as many authors as I can on this blog, I’d like to share an email that was sent to me recently. With permission, I’m copying the email like a press release in its entirety. I have not read the book, but after reading the email, believe it might be one some of you will benefit from, so I’m passing the information along, to let you decide if this book will ultimately help you in your goals to achieve success with your writing business or anything else you do.

Book Promotion via Email

Small Business Big Pressure provides wisdom and knowledge for business owners of all ranges, including the 20-year business veteran or the soon-to-be entrepreneur. It helps entrepreneurs shape the growth of their businesses through faith-based principles. Lyons, also a small business owner, crafted the book to help readers understand that when a business owner aligns all facets of his company with God, something special happens.

Lyons, who co-owns San Antonio-based PAX Financial Group, explained how Small Business Big Pressure came to be.

"When PAX Financial Group began to get attention after being recognized by local newspapers and magazines as one of the best places to work, I began to receive phone calls from small business owners asking about operations, systems, leadership, sales, and much more," said Lyons.

"The leaders of these companies ranged from start up to established. Some of them were even executives of very established business! Many owners felt as though they were on an island without a map. To help solve this, I started to teach classes to the community for free. After some time, I'd amassed a lot of business content and realized that I had enough for a book. So I wrote for a year with feedback from about 15 small business owners. The final product is built with an entrepreneur in mind: small chapters, easy to digest, white pages, and well spaced. Hey, we're busy!"

The book, which originally debuted in 2014, has gained a relaunch after New York City-based Morgan James Publishing picked up its rights. The firm specializes in supporting entrepreneurial-minded authors such as Lyons. The book is currently available from retailers, including Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Books-a-Million, and has earned rave reviews from readers - including a perfect 5-star rating from Amazon customers.

"I hope that when other entrepreneurs read the book they will better understand the basics of business. They will learn about cash flow and financial statements in one of the most practical formats ever written. Why? Because it is written for small business owners by a small business owner," said Lyons.

"Many business books are written by academics, not one in the trenches. We'll also cover mission statements, leadership, training, firing, and creating a company culture. I authentically share how my faith has guided my decision making process and helped overcome the worry, pressure, and confusion that all small business owners experience."

About the Author
Small Business Big Pressure is written by Darryl Lyons, who holds endorsements from Dave Ramsey, Dan Miller, John Lee Dumas, Randy Frazee, and NBA Hall of Famer, David Robinson. He is a 2015 Top 100 John Maxwell Leadership Award Honoree. His business, PAX Financial Group is considered one of the best places to work in San Antonio and one of the fastest growing companies in the city (San Antonio Business Journal). He also is a contributor for the Good Men Project, San Antonio Express-News, and the National Federation of Independent Business Owners (NFIB). Darryl also has been recognized as one of the Top 40 Business People Under 40 and the Mayor of San Antonio named a park, the Darryl W Lyons Park, after his work helping to redevelop part of the city.

For more information, please visit:

www.smallbusinessbigpressure.com

This truly sounds like an excellent book and resource, not solely for small business owners, but for writers too. As much as we enjoy our craft, there is a small business that needs to be tended to if we are ever going to market and sell our stories and articles. There’s a whole lot of work we need to do behind the scenes, to maximize our opportunities, and it’s not just about sharing our work on social media. You know what I’m talking about, because it’s the part of the job few of us actually enjoy. Hey, we’d rather be writing, right? If only life were that easy, but since it’s not, this might be a resource worth having to help us when we have to dig our heels deep within the trenches of everything not writing, so we can actually reap the fruits of our labor. Again, I haven’t read it, so if you do pick up a copy, be sure and add your review to the list on Amazon, Goodreads and wherever else you share your opinion on books you’ve read.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I truly do appreciate it and look forward to seeing you again soon. Oh, and please don’t forget to share this post today, so others can learn about this book too. Thanks!

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Book Review: The Extraordinary Temptation by Patrick McCusker

by M. J. Joachim



In a murder mystery tale that spans across several continents, delves into 2,000 year old mysteries and concludes with futuristic prophecy and miracles, The Extraordinary Temptation by Patrick McCusker took me on a journey that was not only intense, but downright scary at times. This one kept my eyes open, opting to read the next chapter in hopes things would settle down before I went to sleep at night.

A religious thriller, but no, that’s not right. The story unraveled between these pages was far more dramatic than that, as it ferreted around international politics, invaded the Vatican and messed with the spiritual psyche of anyone daring to read it. Is cloning truly that dynamic, to the extent that scientific control only goes so far, and where it doesn’t go - has no capability of going, the spiritual realm takes over opting to invade the very real and complex world of humanity?

Psychological thriller, mind games, historical fiction…I don’t care how you label this book, it’s one that promises to shed new insight into the present and future world as we know it, forcing us to contemplate the what if’s, how’s, when’s, where’s, why’s and who’s, the very powerful world leaders, as well as those with all the money who sometimes pull their strings. It’s one that takes us back in time, reminding us of where we come from and the historical significance of everything that’s happened since the beginning of the world as we know it.

There were a very few minor typos, nothing worth noting, but since my goal is to provide a balanced review need to be mentioned in this post. Other than that, the research, backdrop, transitions and overall storyline were intelligent, intense and worthy of being praised. Over and over again, I kept saying to myself, “How does an author come up with this stuff? Who would think to write a story like this?” We know the answer, because Mr. McCusker did, and he did it very well too.

If you enjoyed this review and appreciate my efforts to share quality books with you here on this blog, promoting authors and helping them spread the word about their work, please share this post and pass it around. I’m sure there are lots of people who will want to read The Extraordinary Temptation, a book I gave a free book promo to prior to reading it, thanks to Mr. McCusker for sending me the necessary information and details.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and please, don’t forget to click the share buttons.

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Book Review: Oliver and Jumpy Stories 31 - 33 Written by Werner Stejskal, Illustrated by Mario Tereso

by M. J. Joachim



Eye-catching, vibrant and quite simply a delight to behold, the artistic talent exhibited in Oliver and Jumpy Stories 31 - 33 is truly dynamic, entertaining and fun! Mario Tereso went above and beyond when it comes to illustrating this engaging little children’s book! Cheers to you, sir! I am thoroughly impressed with your creativity and talent!

Pictures in a picture book obviously need to be the focal point, but the story has to make sense and be fun to read too. Oliver and Jumpy, a cat and kangaroo respectively, are best friends, and just like the old Tom & Jerry cartoons I grew up with, they enjoy their adventures. In this particular set of stories (there are lots more where these come from), New Year’s Day turns into a festive occasion where dishes come to life preparing a feast and helping Oliver and Jumpy celebrate. It reminded me a bit of The Brave Little Toaster and a few scenes from Beauty and the Beast, as Mr. Tereso truly brought all aspects of this story to life in his distinguished illustrations.

The second story takes us out to sea, where whales and sharks combat each other, testing fate as Oliver saves the day. No spoilers, this is a story kids will really get a kick out of. The third story takes us deep into the forest beneath the grass blades, where we meet all sorts of little insects and critters, engaging in their underground world and learning a little bit more about them.

All the stories in this volume are colorfully illustrated and wonderfully told, providing unique teaching moments for anyone who reads them to children. I particularly like the formatting of this picture book, with the words placed strategically at the bottom, so they are easy to read, without overlapping onto the pictures. It’s important to make words and pictures work together, complimenting and enhancing each other in picture books, something Mr. Stejskal and Mr. Tereso do exceptionally well. If you have little ones, this is definitely a book you’ll want to add to your shelf, so your kids can enjoy it time and time again.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Please share this review with others, so many children can enjoy the stories of Oliver and Jumpy. Thank you.

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Book Review: Porcupines Do Extreme Sports, A Counting Book by Susan Srikant

by M. J. Joachim





Ah, the joy of having a little one to share so many wonderful picture book and children’s stories with, an assistant to be sure, kid tested, grandma approved!

It was an exciting moment as I put Porcupines Do Extreme Sports on my computer screen this morning. My little 19 month old granddaughter giggled and pointed, repeating certain numbers with me as I read them out loud. Ms. Srikant promises the book will be released soon.

While I’m not sure all of the activities would be considered extreme sports for us humans, I definitely think they are undoubtedly very extreme for any porcupine we might come across. I had to giggle as I pictured porcupines on the dance floor, quills poking each other and making the dancing that much more energetic. It’s a human thing, my creativity and imagination on overload type of thing, because truthfully, this delightful picture book is way too much fun to read and share with your favorite little one.

Not that she needed to know, but I used the opportunity to enhance my granddaughter’s vocabulary by explaining the definition of spelunking to her. That started an entirely new conversation, where we crawled around on the floor and under the kitchen table and bureau, exploring the nearest caves in our midst.

There’s an energy about this gently illustrated children’s book that is so positive and engaging, a call to action, while being able to sit quietly and read the story. The idea that so many things are possible, planted as tiny seeds in a child’s mind, teaching them how to count while inspiring their dreams to explore and anticipate their innate sense of adventure.

Porcupines Do Extreme Sports is one of those children’s picture books you will read again and again with your child, each time getting something new and enjoyable out of it. It’s a wonderful book for early childhood education teachers, because a few lesson plan ideas are built right in, so that the teacher can incorporate physical education, science, culture, reading and math skills together. That’s always a big plus in my book, which is just one of many reasons I strongly recommend this book to you.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please take a moment to share this review with others, so lots of families and teachers can find it and share it with their wee ones. Thank you.

Happy reading, writing and whatever else you do,

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 9, 2016

Free Book Promotion: A Star-Reckoner’s Lot by Darrell Drake

by M. J. Joachim




Fantasy author Darrell Drake has received impressive reviews for his three previous books, Within Ruin, Everautumn and Where the Madness Roosts. His newest book, A Star-Reckoner’s Lot, a story centered in Sassanian Iran “where the rich history of a thriving late antique empire joins the magic and mystery of fantasy inspired by the legends of the time,” is expected to be released soon.

Beginning next week, Mr. Drake will be running a dynamic campaign to announce the official release of A Star-Reckoner’s Lot in the near future, a book that is receiving a 4.5 star rating in its beta format on Goodreads.

“Rather than simply writing a novel in the setting, I chose to dedicate one and a half years solely to research. Between visits to York University, reading academic papers, sitting in libraries, and seeking out any source of information I could find, I sought to establish an understanding of the nations’s history and culture - enough that in writing the novel I could accurately and respectfully represent Sassanian Iran. This only served to fortify my appreciation for the settings, and to strengthen my desire to get it to readers. It gave me confidence in my presentation.” Darrell Drake

The efforts and work that went into A Star-Reckoner’s Lot are inspiring, to say the least, as Mr. Drake went to great lengths to bring readers a story that would not only be engaging, but accurate in its depiction of scenes and historical content rendered therein. A merciful star-reckoner is the main character in A Star-Reckoner’s Lot, something rare and different in the realm. This is a fantasy story that deals with a woman’s grief over the loss of her husband, while pursuing a quest for justice in his regard.”Inspired by the magical legends found in classics like the Shahnameh and One Thousand and One Nights, I wove tales of mystery and monsters into her story,” states Darrell Drake.

While I haven’t read the book, I must admit intrigue and curiosity regarding its release. If you’re into reading historical, fantasy novels, this might be one worth checking out when it is ultimately released. More information about all those details can be found by contacting Mr. Drake through his website.

Many thanks to Mr. Drake for contacting me about the upcoming release of his new novel. If you’d like me to help promote your book, please send me an email with your author bio and as much information as you can about it. I’m happy to help authors as much as possible on this blog, and while there will never be enough time to read and review every book I receive, I can provide this service of free book promotions, to help you get the word out about yours.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Please share this free book promotion with others.

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Book Review: How to Babysit a Grandma

by M. J. Joachim



As a Grandma, I can definitely vouch for the contents of this book! Along with a few other things like having mud fights in the garden and water fights in the pool. How to Babysit a Grandma is a delightful story full of great ideas on how to spend time with your grand - children and parents. The pictures, illustrated by Lee Wildish, are colorful and very entertaining. The story is engaging and fun. I received it for Mother’s Day yesterday from my granddaughter.

It’s true, little ones love to go to the park. One of the interesting things about this book is the reverse psychology dialog, where the grandchild is completely and fully in charge, and Grandma gets to spoil her precious child, all the while doing things that need to be done like making dinner - together, of course.

Not that I believe grandchildren get to rule the roost at Grandma’s house, but I certainly know they get to have their say about how to spend quality time together. Grandma still looks out for their best interest, which is clearly emphasized in the story. It’s just that she does it with so much love, that she and her grandchildren find it positively enjoyable to do whatever needs to be done. Even bedtime is a thrilling time of day.

It’s a grandma thing, and perhaps a grandpa thing too. There’s something about loving on the little ones your children bring into your life, and it’s a very good thing indeed!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. If you enjoyed this review, please share it with others. I really appreciate it. Thank you!

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 6, 2016

Book Promotion: Pro-Life Essays by M. J. Joachim

by M. J. Joachim





Today I’d like to talk about something near and dear to my heart, something that is rather divisive in our world, because everyone has and is entitled to their own opinion, and sometimes that means drawing a line in the sand or putting a stake in the ground. It means being true to oneself regardless of the price, despite the fact that it may well alienate and drive some people away from you. None of that matters to me when we are talking about the well being and human dignity each and every person deserves, by the mere fact that we are unique and special as people on this planet.

I’ve always been pro-life. The word itself defines why. To be pro-life is to support humanity, stand up for individuals and defend the human race. That whole notion of taking away one person’s rights, in favor of another person’s, doesn’t work for me at all. You can’t make something right, by doing something wrong in the name of it. All people have rights, so splitting hairs about who is worthy to have those rights at another person’s expense completely defies logic in my opinion.

When two people share the same body, why should either one of them get to determine that the weaker of the two should be exterminated? When someone has lived a full and productive life, how can they be so easily exterminated on the grounds that they are sick or feeble? Aren’t we as a human race responsible for defending each other in all stages of development, regardless of weakness or infirmity?

Pro-Life Essays is a book containing commentary on a variety of pro-life topics ranging from motherhood to euthanasia, and including the subjects of suicide, stages of grief, teen sex communication channels - minus parental consent and much more. It is a book I feel very strongly about, not because I oppose women who choose to have abortions, but because I believe in the preservation of life at every stage of development. I believe in preserving human dignity and helping those who are struggling. I believe in humanity and as a writer, this is one small way I can make a difference, in the hopes that fewer people have to suffer in our world. The book is available in paperback and electronic formats.




If you feel strongly about the dignity and preservation of human life, please take a moment and share this post with others. Help me get the word out about my book, a book that is so important in our world today, because too many people have needlessly died, become homeless or been shut away in institutions to rot. We are all in this together, and we need each other. We need to defend our right to life, because none of us deserve to live more than the rest of us. All of us were born to live and bless the world with our presence.

Thank you so much for spending time with me today. Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you again soon. Shout out to all the Mom’s out there - Wishing each and every one of you the best Mother’s Day ever!

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Marketing and Sharing Your Links Online

How to Get People to Click and Share Your Links

by M. J. Joachim




As writers we often limit our abilities to our latest manuscript or blog post, without giving much thought to how we actually share our work through links in our marketing efforts. We try to get people to really pay attention to what we’ve written, without composing a reasonable answer as to why our work is worthy of being read by our audience. It’s a funny conundrum if all we do is push our latest blog post, article or book in front of people’s faces. So much work went into these pieces. Surely they deserve more attention than that!

Getting an audience for our writing is akin to flushing the toilet and washing your hands after you go to the bathroom. It’s like doing the dishes after you’ve cooked in the kitchen and eaten your meal, or putting the groceries away after you’ve gone shopping. All of these things are complete tasks, where each part of them is integral to the optimum success of the initial act that starts a sequence of events. As with a puzzle, there are specific pieces that must be put into the proper place at the most advantageous time.

It’s never enough to act like a child and say, “Hey look! See here! You’ve gotta see what I wrote and you’ve gotta look at it now! I mean it, okay! I want you to read this!” We get on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, passing links around as if they are gold, when all they are is another link somebody wants us to click on so they can get a page view, or (if the stars align just perfectly) sell another book. What? Are we suddenly in 5th grade again, where we jump up and down until we get acknowledged?

Sharing links is an art, a type of writing that challenges us to be exceptionally creative and precise, when we propose someone who is as busy as we are, or perhaps even busier, should take the briefest moment out of his or her day, to click on our links and God willing, read what we wrote. Want some icing on that cake? Not only did they click and read, they actually passed it around and shared it with a few people.

The real question is, “What are you giving your audience when you put a link out there for people to click on?” Take yourself out of the equation for a moment, and realize that your writing is a service to others, so how are you serving your audience? Once you figure this out, you can draft creative introductions to the link you intend to share with others.

Here are a couple of examples for you to consider.

Example 1:

This is the link I want to share. It’s a book review, and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I could write: 


It’s clear and tells people exactly what I’m sharing in hopes they will click on the link and read what I wrote. 

Or, I could do something like this:

Action, adventure, mystery - Indiana Belle is a timeless time travel book promoting excellence in reading
http://mjjoachim.blogspot.com/2016/05/book-review-indiana-belle-by-john-heldt.html

Suddenly, it’s not one more book review someone wrote, but an action adventure mystery, and it’s really good and promotes excellence in reading. By being more creative and descriptive, I’m giving people something besides another boring link to click on.

Example 2

Guide to Hot Water Bath Canning - Please buy a copy and share. http://goo.gl/zsmkye

Okay, so I’ve told my audience what it is and that I want them to share it. How nice of me. Gee, I wonder if I might get a few sales out of this one.

Or I can appeal to people who are interested in canning, focusing on my targeted audience and write this post.

Canning season is upon us, and this Guide to Hot Water Bath #canning is getting excellent reviews. Please retweet and pass it around. http://goo.gl/zsmkye #WellnessWednesday

   

In this post I tell people what it is, who might like it, why it’s important to click on and ask them to help me share it with a larger audience. I also used a hash tag with one of the current trends happening at that particular moment in time. Hey, if it’s trending and you can tap into it, why not?

Notice I’ve shortened the link using goo.gl to fit more descriptive words in my post. It’s supposedly the right way to share links, especially on Twitter, but I’m not sure it’s quite the big deal it’s made out to be. I have mixed thoughts, though I do like being able to add more words and hash tags to my posts, so shortening the link is quite helpful.

The idea is to share links that make sense, attract your targeted audience, provide outreach, so people will share your work because what you wrote might be beneficial to others. It’s all about serving your audience, as opposed to reaping the rewards of them bowing at your feet. We’re writers, not gods, so it’s important to use our skills in every area where words are required, to help us earn those page views and sales. The market is completely saturated. The least we can do is recognize that we are one grain of sand on the beach, and no one has to read a single word we publish, unless they really want to because we took the time to be that good.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope this post helps you in your online presence and marketing ventures. Oh, and now that I’ve put it in front of your face, please share this article and pass it around as much as possible :) I really do appreciate it.

Best to all,

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Free Book Promotion: The Extraordinary Temptation by Patrick McCusker

by M. J. Joachim


Award winning author and Nature Conservationist, Patrick McCusker spent two years writing, editing and polishing The Extraordinary Temptation, a story that promises to give religious skeptics a challenging, if not thoughtful new perspective. Nothing like a bit of an archaeological find to unearth new evidence, challenge status quo and turn people’s worlds upside down.

It’s the type of book that might just leave you scratching your head. Where does an author come up with this stuff? “The story started as half a sentence while driving a car on a winter’s night,” states Patrick. “Two years later, at 90,000 words, it was finished.” Gee, is that all, and then he had to proofread, edit and publish it, a lengthy and challenging process at best, all the while seeking to promote it to a lively audience, one that hopefully would appreciate the story he unveiled.

We all know the story of Jesus. Many of us believe full heartedly, so reading stories about finding mummified skin attached to the Crown of Thorns is intriguing, and perhaps a little creepy too. Enter the realm of ghosts and goblins - but this is supposed to be spiritual, where truly holy things transcend the ways of the world with an indisputable supernatural omnipotence, and the groundwork for an undeniably intense read has been laid down as the foundation.

Patrick McCusker is a prolific, international writer, with several books to his name including two thrillers, one nature conservation book and numerous short stories. Several of his short stories have been broadcast on radio. Having lived in Canada, the USA and currently in Ireland, his experience and engagement with the world promote a unique writing perspective in his work. 


While I have not yet read The Extraordinary Temptation, based on the work showcased on his website and blog, I’m sure it will likely be very enjoyable when I do. That said, I encourage all of you to browse the many writing offerings made available by Mr. McCusker, and decide for yourself if his books are something you might be interested in reading. Obviously, if you do, Amazon and Goodreads are excellent sites to share your reviews, so you can let people know how you feel about Mr. McCusker’s work.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed this free author book promotion, and if so, I encourage you to share it with others. Also, if you would like me to help promote your book, please email me (mjjoachimswriting@gmail.com) as much information as you can about it, along with any biographical information pertaining to yourself.

Wishing you every success with your reading, writing and whatever else you do,

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved
Photo credit: Patrick McCusker ©2016 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Book Review: Kitty Conquers the Big Bully by KayeC Jones

by M. J. Joachim



Girl power! Fist bump, fist bump and fist bump again!!! Gotta love a book that teaches girls to stand up for themselves the right way, without turning into little brats themselves. Seriously, though, Kitty Conquers the Big Bully is a captivating picture book, determined to teach girls how independent and successful they can be. It’s all about recognizing that girls can be and do anything they want in today’s world, without listening to the naysayers, or falling prey to anyone’s negativity.

At first glance, this little children’s book translates into how to deal with bullies, because the bully in this story is big and mean and scary. Reading between the lines a bit, I recognized the bully as being a thing more than any one person. It’s that too often repetition of negative messages people consistently say to themselves, especially after someone else says them first. It’s that notion of self doubt, lack of self esteem and hint of inability that really stops people in their tracks, not the bully who picks on them. The bully is only doing what bullies do, and picking on someone to be mean.

Kitty may be only four years old, but she’s wise beyond her years in my opinion. At first she’s rather upset when she gets pushed in the mud; the obvious response is anger, frustration and to feel bad for being picked on. Instead, Kitty starts thinking about things, launching her into an entire repertoire of things any girl can do, if she only dares enough to try. As much as she could have let the bully get to her, Kitty turned the tables on him instead, by recognizing that his actions toward her, didn’t have to define her actions or make her angry at all.

Kitty Conquers the Big Bully contains such a positive and wonderful message for girls. It’s a delightful story filled with colorful and dynamic pictures, an educational book destined to encourage the conversation about dealing with bullies, as well as teaching girls to dream big, because anything is possible, and they truly can be and do anything they want in life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and trust you will too. Please share this review to help others discover this fine children’s picture book. A lot of care and attention to detail went into the production of this manuscript, so please help the author sell more copies by sharing this positive review for a job well done. Thank you.

Wishing you all every success with your reading, writing and whatever else you do,

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 2, 2016

Book Promo: Apophis by Caron Rider Available for Pre-Order

by M. J. Joachim

by M. J. Joachim


Author of the highly acclaimed young adult trilogy, The Silver Series, with reviews averaging between 4 and 5 stars from approximately 50 reviewers on Amazon, Caron Rider is establishing herself as an effective and definitive science fiction author kids thoroughly enjoy, in large part due to her background in teaching middle school, the same background that continues to inspire much of her writing and publishing journey.

Her heart is with her students when she writes, choosing to gear her novels toward what they want to read. “I buckled down and wrote for them. I’ve always been a huge science fiction fan, and there is nothing in Apophis that girls should shy away from. In fact, one of the main characters is a girl (a very smart one),” states Rider. She goes on to say, “A few teen boys are my beta readers, and they’ve already begged me to continue Apophis as a series.”

As they prepare for a devastating asteroid to hit the planet, scientists divide mankind into two separate groups, one borne into a lengthy period of inactivity, while another is sent to Mars. Humans, martians and artificial intelligence come together hundreds of years later, each vying for their own little corner of the universe, while facing the very real threat of war amongst themselves. This is the premise Apophis promises to unveil within its pages.

Rider obtained her BS degree from the University of South Alabama and has worked as an educator since the 1990’s, where one of her primary focal points was working with at risk youth. She lives in rural Missouri with her family and several pets and animals. Along with publishing The Silver Series Trilogy and Apophis, Rider is also preparing to publish a book called Far Away Kingdom, which promises to be available soon on her website. You can also visit Rider’s blog, where you will learn a few gardening tips, along with being entertained by some other fun posts.

Caron Rider

Though I’ve yet to read Apophis or any of Caron Rider’s books, I must say I’m intrigued and looking forward to reviewing at least a couple of them. If you like young adult, science fiction books, it might be worth your while to give it a go, and read some of Rider’s books. At this point I can’t recommend any of them, but if you read and enjoy them, you can. Reviews are always encouraged and welcome on Amazon and Goodreads.

If you enjoyed this post today and think someone else might benefit from it, please click on the share buttons below. Thanks so much, and have a wonderful day!

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved
Photo credit: Caron Rider ©2016 All Rights Reserved

Book Review: Indiana Belle by John A. Heldt

by M. J. Joachim




I’m rather fond of Professor Bell, having gotten to know him in previous titles in the American Journey Series written by John A. Heldt. He’s a friend and comrade in September Sky and Mercer Street, a bit eccentric, but an all around good guy. He and his wife Jeanette are an older couple with hearts of gold, who’s major destiny and quest in life is to travel through time, discover family history and help (qualified) others do the same. So when Cameron entered the scene with somewhat obscure intentions, and I could almost see the wheels turning in his head as he realized what he had actually stumbled upon, his maneuvers challenging, abrasive and even mildly threatening, I was fully prepared for this villain, a character I was sure I would love to hate, to become the antagonist in the story. Set the scene in 1925, the year my father was born, and Indiana Belle quickly became a book I simply couldn’t put down. Add in scenic elements of the Sierra Nevada, I was married in Lake Tahoe, plus a whole lot of small town Indiana, I’ve got family there too, well, even without the added familial and sentimental connections, intrigue and the makings of such a fine story couldn’t help but get the best of me.

Indiana Belle is distinct from Heldt’s other books in a variety of ways, adding in elements of a crime and murder mystery, treasure hunts in far off lands and a budding romance that promises to alter history, or at least attempt to, while encouraging readers to hope and trust that love will conquer all. As much as it is a fantastic tale of action and adventure, it is also a heartfelt tale of family, a story where we get to know Jeanette Bell, the Professor’s wife, on a much more intimate level. She is the Professor’s crown jewel, as it were, because being the ultimate dreamer that he is, she is the lifeline to his intense and often questionable life’s journey. Without her, none of the books in this series would have been nearly as endearing, because her character development is essential to the stories, a development that has readily unfolded to reveal one of my favorite and treasured friends in Heldt’s books.

That’s when you know you have a really good story, when your audience identifies with and claims the characters portrayed as its own. Cameron grew on me, and when all was said and done, I didn’t end up hating him, as much as I might have liked to early on. His character needed help, but so did Candice’s, his counterpart and love interest in the story. They were both exquisitely challenging people, tempting fate and seeking their own agendas. Masterfully planned and futuristically shadowed, their journey actually took them to a time and place no one anticipated, not even me. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up, as I realized the significance of such a journey, noting the importance of its prophetic implications. What would the world be like without writers who implicated the repercussions of blind action and mindless thinking? Seriously, John, we need much more of this, because it truly does give one pause, catching us unaware and delivering a message so profound that we can’t help but sit up and pay attention to our actions.

Indiana Belle is a timeless story, funny since it’s foundation is established in time travel, capturing the essence of family, commitment and respect, promoting morals and values in a culture when far too many times, these things are fully ignored or depreciated. Filled with action, adventure, mystery, awe and romance, it’s one of those books readers will readily identify with and find difficult to put down. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and am more than happy to recommend it to you.

Now if I could ask a quick favor of you, please. Click the share buttons at the bottom of this post to help get the word out about Mr. Heldt’s book. This one deserves to move up on the charts, and the more you pass this review around, the better the chances that will happen, so please share this post with others, because in doing so, you help set a high standard for reading excellence, all the while providing an encouragement for authors to be mindful of publishing the same.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Happy reading, writing and whatever else you do.

M. J.

©2016 All Rights Reserved