Awards and News

Hello and surprise! I’m here and it’s not a Monday!  I wanted to come back and do just a small bit of bragging. Remember when I told you to take advantage of award season? And I told you of The Book of Now’s win of the IPA award in May.

I am pleased to announce a few more kudos!

The 2017 National Indie Excellence Awards presented

THE BOOK OF NOW

with TWO Finalists Awards

INTERIOR DESIGN, Non-Fiction   and   POETRY

***AND***

Reader’s Favorite Book Awards just reviewed Breaking the Glass Slipper AND The Book of Now.

Both received 5 STARS Ratings!

I’m very happy and proud. I don’t take much time to bask or brag, so I wanted to share and then get back to work.

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Stay tuned for a LIVE Facebook moment coming soon! Check in here for when or keep an eye on my author Facebook page.

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Site updates will happen over the next month. Updating the book pages, the press info and the Street Team. 

PLUS! The Infamous and Mysterious Newsletter WILL be going out before the end of the month!  Be sure you are signed up. There will be exclusive information for newletter followers.

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That’s it for now. Stay tuned because more is coming!

Yours Between the Lines,
Sherry

After Action Report #SCBL2017

Hello writers and readers. I spent the first few days of June at the Space Coast Book Lovers Convention/Signing at Cocoa Beach Florida.  Huge Kudos to the organizer Teri Dees Edney and all the authors, writers, bloggers, industry professionals and volunteers who came together to pull off such a fun time for everyone. Sun, sand, purpose. 

Why do people go to conferences/book signings? There are several reasons and the most obvious first one is to sell books. But that really isn’t the main reason, especially when in four days you only have four hours to sell books. What most authors crave is meeting the “competition,” connecting with online friends, making new ones, mixing with bloggers and industry professionals like models and photographers, cover designers, podcasters, and marketers. Conferences and conventions are the best opportunity to network and mix and mingle. The contacts and social interactions at these events are what make them invaluable, for readers and writers. Here’s what the sponsorship banner looked like for this event (please note that my logo is there too)

In my case, I was delighted to meet so many folks that I interact with on Facebook, as well as to grab a hug from folks I’ve “known” online for years and craved sharing something more personal. Such moments are so precious. You’ll hear people all over, all day, every day saying, “HI! Oh so good to meet you!” Or “Whee, I missed you.” It will make you smile.

Yvonne Mason and me

Our lodgings were right on the beach at the International Palms Resort and Hotel. The view from my room was perfect. We were there in time to watch the latest launch of a Space X Rocket from Kennedy Space Center, too! (I’m such a space baby geek that this was extra special for me).

I couldn’t have done my job as an author without the wonderful, invaluable assistance of my PA Terri Wilson and my hubby (set-up roadie and part time manager), Ron. The two of them made it easy for me to concentrate on author stuff and not on the other minutia. They helped to make my author table look just right and both of them have a keen eye for marketing. I just love them.

My right arm, Terri Wilson PA

If you get an opportunity to go to a conference, to mix and mingle with authors and readers, I will be the first to tell you to go. The contacts you made and the friendships you begin will be a treasure. There is no way I can show you all the photos I took, but these photos are just some of the wonderful authors you can meet at events like this.

(From top down, Violet Howe, Julie Morgan, Elle Klass, HD Smith, and Tara Briggs)

And thank you to an online friend who came over especially to see some familiar faces and to meet me. I was so honored to meet my Facebook and Twitter friend Pam. She was even more beautiful in person and her arrival made my day!

A Fan!

There’s already been oodles of articles about the event and I only want to add what a well-done, event-packed weekend it was. I hated the Florida heat (I was uncomfortable all the time) but the company and the experience was tremendous. They are already planning next year’s event so if you get a chance to attend, I tell you this is one to put on your bucket list!

As we prepared to head home, Florida gifted us with a wonderful sunrise, one of the State’s special talents.

Of course there is always someone who is geeked out. I’ll just leave this here and thank you for stopping by. (Ron, really there’s no one in it!)

 

Come by TOMORROW for more new stuff!

Yours Between the Lines,
Sherry

Military Fiction and Remembrance

I struggled with this post for Memorial Day. Today, we should be remembering our fallen servicemen and women, those young and old men and women who sacrificed their lives in service of freedom and protection. I smile with pride as I hear the national anthem played during sporting events and as I see tributes to servicepersons on television. There are parades and fireworks and I see active duty personnel being welcomed everywhere.

I am proud of these images and moments. But I am sad, too. Most of today’s youth, even the middle age population do not really understand the military or what it means to serve. Yes, there is a much more open and accepting view of the military (unlike how we treated our servicemen and women after Korea or Vietnam), but when you ask a teen about war, most only have a video game reference. I shudder and cringe when I think how war is seen as “shoot-em, kill-’em, get up and shoot again.”  Few understand that when you get shot while servicing your country, most never get up. Those that do, are never the same and many will never be whole again.

Too few of our youth are visiting military museums, going to memorials or even places in this country where battles were fought. There is something sobering and heart stopping to stand in a field where your own countrymen fought and died against other of your countrymen over a need for all men and women to be free. Now imagine that feeling on a foreign beach as you watch your brother and sister service members shooting at an unseen enemry only to fall into the mud or the sand and never to move again. 

There is nothing video game-ish for me about war or the heroes who serve and do so in order to prevent it. So what can we do to help enlighten our children, our peers, our populace?

As an author, I understand not being able to actually go where wars were fought and won. Or lost. I understand not being able to have the money to experience a live truth. But as an author there are other ways to shed this video-game-parade-happy view of those who have fought and died. There are road trips and History movies. There are walking trails and there are books.

There are so many memorials that are free. I would encourage everyone to try a memorial cemetery and read the names of those who have served and died. There are free military museums everywhere, in every state. And there are some who charge only a nominal fee to view real history from still living people.

I’ve been overseas and have walked in the shadows of terrible battles. I’ve been where Jews were indiscriminately cremated or where service members were slaughtered just because they were Americans. I have walked Arlington and Gettysburg and watched a dogfight between warring nations. So I have that experience.

And I’ve also read. There is a huge amount of military literature available that can give a variety of viewpoints about those who served. Not the salacious stuff you see out there with half naked, helmet wearing guys (ala Fabio) on Indie covers about romance (sorry fellow Indie authors). Those books are great for escape but not what I’m talking about here.

In fact, you’ve probably read military fiction and didn’t realize it. Much of it is historical, speculative and even military science fiction. Some of it was satire and even black comedy. But much of it was based on fact or knowledge and worth your time to understand the depth of service. You can’t write what you know unless you gleam some knowledge. You don’t have to have lived it to understand or know about it.

There’s fun stuff like H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds (1898), or Tolstoy’s War and Peace (1869). How about Slaughterhouse Five (1969) by Kurt Vonnegut? Don’t forget the famous 1961 novel Catch 22 by Joseph Heller or a personal favorite, King Rat by James Clavell (1962). There is a terrific historical military fiction in The Bridge Over the River Kwai (1952) by Pierre Boulle, and even something very special in The Hunt for Red October (1984) by Tom Clancy. A personal favorite is Starship Troopers (1952) by Robert A. Heinlein (and no, it has nothing to do with giant bugs on alien planets).

If you want something a little more “today” try Dauntless by Jack Campbell, Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose, or Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden (the book is a definite must read over the movie). Or try Flyboys by James Bradley, or a most moving account by Jake Tapper in The Outpost.

Memorial Day is a good day to hold your families close and cherish your ability to have that cookout, go to that parade or watch those fireworks. It is a good day to kick back with a game of golf or a quiet lounge by the pool. It’s also a good day to read a truly important book.

Whatever you do on this Memorial Day I urge you to shed your make believe views of war and of those who died in them. I hope you will have your bbq and remember you do it freely because somewhere some man or woman in uniform, voluntarily served and died for us, so we could have the ease and choice to choose chicken or hamburger, a movie or a boat ride.

And take your familities to see the real remnants of war and battle. Help them to see the reality that was and is war and what sacrifice actually means. And when you hear the National Anthem again, let it fill your heart with words that mean so much to me, “land of the free, and the home of the brave.”

 

Because of those who died.

 

 

 

 

 

Yours Between the Lines,
Sherry
Proud to be a retired, US Air Force non-combat veteran.