Want to join my read along?


Thursday

I hope that your Thursday was really good! It’s almost Friday so don’t worry. I wanted to invite you guys to a read along that I am hosting on my YouTube channel! We ( me and my subscribers) do a weekly read a long where we vote on books to read together. This has been so successful and I wanted my subscribers here to join in. I will posting DAILY reading updates about the book and what I have read thus far and my thoughts. The readathon will start on Monday, September 18,2017 at 12am. We will be 75 pages a day  of this book here!

Jane Eyre

This will be my FIRST Bronte book so I am excited to see how it is. I did watch the movie a while ago and I fell in love with it. Hopefully, the book will not disappoint. If you had read this book before, please let me know what you thought about it. I hope that some of my subscribers here are able to join me!

 

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The Waiting Game With Queries


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Happy Wednesday! I hope all is well on you end. As for me, I am learning patience in more ways than one. Let’s see, I will say that my mind is on an overload from querying so many agents. Granted, agents look so many queries everyday, but for some reason I have in my mind that they are supposed to respond to me as soon as I send the e-mail. LOL! This is silly I know. I am learning patience, but it is getting hard.

snoopy

I have read and watching many videos on how to pass the time when waiting to hear back from agents. Thus far, I have queried about 60 agents and have gotten 8 rejections. The ball can still be in my court, so I have not given up hope yet. It is still alive. Since I have started this process of traditional publishing, my mind has not been on writing anything but my blogs here and my article for Conscious Talk Magazine ( btw, go subscribe at conscioustalkmag.com). I am still job hunting like crazy so I am trying to stay occupied. How can you when you read books that are NYT’s Best Sellers and know that pieces or a few pages of your works is out there for agents to read and determine if I have a best seller too? So, this is what I have come up with:

  1. Meditation – Relieve some of the anxiety that I am feeling.
  2. Pray – Prayer changes EVERYTHING!
  3. Read – This is a given. You can not be a writer if you are not a reader first. ~ Stephen King
  4. Talk To Writer Friends – I do not have many writer friends that I talk to often so I will have to get some new ones on twitter.
  5. Breathe – This is a given.

Get out of your own way

 

Lately, to pass the time I have been thinking a lot about my life thus now and where I want to be in the next five years both personally and professionally. My goal is to be a New York Time’s Best Seller and continue to write books while I change the world with my words. I will still work a day time job as well ( preferably with writing) or helping in some capacity whether it is through research, etc.

 

Book Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman


Bird Box

Title: Bird Box

Author: Josh Malerman

My Edition: Paperback

Page Numbers: 262

My Rating: 3 Stars

My Review: Before I started to read this book, I looked at reviews on Goodreads. There were so many 5 star’s that it made me very excited. But, as I started to read the book, I noticed that it was the first half was very slow. The plot twist was very interesting and it made me want to continue the book. Bird Box is about a girl named Calorie who lives in a town where people have died and disappeared due to a creature. She lost her sister and is now on her own with her unborn child. She sees an ad in the paper regarding shelter in house where others live. The key is to keep your eyes closed, because once you see something, you will die. This thriller was a little drastic for me in terms of the storyline. I am not going to give any spoilers aways, but I will say every reader is different and this book was just okay for me.

Learning To Play The Hand You Were Dealt


HappySaturdayTweety

Good evening, readers! As I sitting in my bed thinking, I thought I would write a blog for today. Things have not been going well as I thought it would. The job fell through that I was working for. Turns out, I was hired when I did not have the correct credentials to teach. This is a bummer. Luckily, I still have the writing gig, but it is not full-time. So, back to the drawing board I go. When life gives you a hand, you have to play in order to win the game. No matter what, I will always stay in the game.

I am not blogging to complain, but to inspire. I have cried long enough today. My tears are now dry and it is time to keep playing the game and win. This is all a part of God’s plan to show me my next move. But, whatever it is, trust me, my next move will be my best move. Learning to move in silence. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

Want A Paid Writing Gig?


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My fellow writers! I have a GEM for you! I know how we writers want to make a living writing or at least be appreciated for what we have to bring to the table, right? I came across this online paid magazine by networking right here on wordpress. I started to read other’s blogs and BOOM there it was! Yes, I am talking about this banner right here:

This is totally legit! I even signed a contract and met other writers for the magazine as well. This is a new magazine and I must say that I very excited to accept the position of a columnist! My areas of expertise will be for Bookish News and Reviews, Writer’s Life and Fashion & Beauty sections. I could not be more proud to be a part of a great magazine. If you have more questions please do hesitate to email the editor at EDITOR@CONSCIOUSTALKMAG.COM.

My Thoughts:

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If you look back on my  What’s On Your Writer’s Bucket List?  back in 2013, I stated that I wanted to write for a company. I did not specify what type of company because it could be anything. I have been a contributing writer for a few magazines, but never having my own column(s). This opportunity is so exciting for me. You have no idea. I want all of my writer friends to join in on this venture with me if you are interested and have the time.

Book Review: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison


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Wow! I do not know what to say about this book. First, I will say that this is the first book that I read by this author. She is very hyped. I tried to read Song of Solomon first, but everyone persuaded me to this book. This book pissed me off. I felt so bad for the characters of Claudia, Penola and even their mother. I won’t disclose too much about what the book is focused on, but I will say it was so sad for me. This book contains race, molestation and rape, so WARNING!

My Thoughts:

I thought this book was a great topic read, but I did not care for the story as much. Maybe because I used to have color complex issues as a child and I could relate to Pecola. I think the mother was as dysfunctional as her husband and se allowed so many things that me personally I would not have. This book was just okay for me. I gave it a 3 star review.

Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray


The Diviners

Wow! This tome here was excellent! Okay, I read this book for the TomeTopple readadathon that is going to be over on August 17th! I read this with a buddy named Kaylee who I met on twitter! She’s a great person and loves books just as much as I do. Any whoo, Libba Bray has become one of my favorite authors. Her writing is so captivating and the worlds she brings to life makes me want to go there. This tome or big book was over 500 pages and we finished it in just a week. This book is about a girl named Evie O’Neil who has a supernatural gift. She is able to see what others have been through just by touching something that is meaningful to them like a shirt or a pen. She is what you call a Diviner and others are like her in New York City. She lives with her uncle due to getting in trouble. But, as I was reading this book I wanted to know what came next. Libba Bray has really outdone herself with this one. Now, I will not give any spoilers, but I will say that the ending was not favorite, but I still recommend this book. In fact. I am reading the second book in this series right now and it is a tome as well coming in at 618 pages. I know I will fly by it since it is just that good.

Book Review: Water For Elephants


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This book review is going to be different from what I used to do here on my blog. My YouTube subscribers and I did a read along with them. We read 50 pages a day until we finished the book. This book was amazing! I never read a book where I got a lesson that was needed for my life right now. The message that I learned was that your gift will always be around you in some way and make room for you. This book is about a guy named Jacob Jankowski who is a soon -to-be veterinarian from Connell University. A tragic event happens that keeps Jake from not achieving his goal, but he still gets to do what he loves. He even finds love for himself! I will give go into anymore detail about this book. You must pick it up for yourself. But, I will say that I absolutely loved this book and I gave it 5 stars!

I highly recommend that everyone reads this book.

My Weekly Wrap Up


HappySaturdayTweety

Happy Saturday, folks! I must say that I am a little tired from my week this week. I did miss about two blog posts and I apologize for that. But, here I am. I did not leave you long. This week has been very hectic with doctor appointments, my YouTube channel and my failed writing and the readathon.  Okay, wait. I take that back. The writing and readathon is not failed, but I am not ahead as I wanted to be.

Writing

Writing For You

My writing is not at a stand still. I have only missed three days. Now, I am not going to be finished in time for NanoWriMo, but I am going to be finished by August 4th. I will be writing all day today ( mostly) so I am excited about that. My book is getting really good and  I can not wait until it is finished and I start the next project. I have been having dreams lately and I think they really are book ideas. My mentor tells me to write when I feel like it and when I want to take a break, to do that too. So, I was taking a break and putting more time into my Youtube channel.

YouTube

I recently hit 1000 subscribers and I more than happy! Some opportunities are coming my way because of it and I could not be more excited. My goals are to focus on my channel and get as much content and subscribers as I can. I am really enjoying what I am putting out there. Oh, and to read more and make more reading videos. I do incorporate MukBangs on my channel as well, but mainly it is book related videos.

Life Happens

Life Happens

My health is not as it’s best. If you have been a long time subscriber and reader than you know that I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2015. Since then, I am being tested for cirrhosis due to my diabetes. We ( my doctor and myself) are believing that I just have a fatty liver and that is all. So, what am I doing about it? I am working out AND eating better. My goal is to loose at 30 pounds to start. She wants me to consider getting the gastric sleeve, but I do not know about all of that right now. I am going to try and loose it my way first. If I may ask please just keep me in your prayers, but I am going to do well with this.

No matter what happens in life continue to keep busy and do the things that make you happy!

Author Interview: Ed Duncan, Pigeon-Blood Red


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Hey readers! Meet my writer friend, Ed Duncan! He has a new book out and I wanted you guys to have the SCOOP of how his latest book , ” Pigeon-Blood Red” was all about. Be sure to read up until the end of the interview so you can check out his social media!

Synopsis

For underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss’s priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime.

As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

 

Pigeon Blood Red at 238 pages, is not particularly long as books go, but Duncan packs a lot of story into those pages. Readers in search of a tight, well written, good guy versus bad guy, crime/action/adventure will find Pigeon Blood Red by Ed E. Duncan, an engrossing story that will keep them involved to the end. And like me, they will find themselves eagerly awaiting the next installment.” Mike Siedschlag

 

Let The Interview Begin…

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  1. What got you started with writing?

I’ve always wanted to write but I postponed jumping in with both feet because I was always too busy with my legal practice.  I probably got the bug at least as early as the eleventh grade in high school when my English teacher wrote on my term paper that my writing was seldom if ever equaled among her students.  That really knocked me off my feet and I never forgot those words, which I filed away in the back of my mind.  Alas, I became a lawyer rather than a writer, but I always read for pleasure and for many years I was a member of a book club.

After I had been in practice of a short time, I purchased from my book club a one volume collection called The Novels of Dashiell Hammett, which included Hammett’s masterpiece, The Maltese Falcon.  I fell in love with the novel and it rekindled my interest in writing,  Still, I didn’t act on my impulse to write fiction until many years later when the idea for Pigeon-Blood Red popped into my mind while I was attending a legal seminar in Honolulu.  I started working on the novel at night and on weekends, but I could never devote enough time to it until I retired a couple of years early in 2012.  Meanwhile, I wrote a legal treatise in 2008 called Ohio Insurance Coverage, and that whetted my appetite to finish Pigeon-Blood Red.

2. As a writer, it’s always good to read.  What kinds of books do you read?  What’s your reading schedule?

One thing I learned after writing Pigeon-Blood Red is that writers have to devote almost as much time to publicizing and promoting their work as they spend on writing.  This includes keeping abreast of and contributing to social media, which can be time-consuming.  Also, there is also the next book to think about and ultimately write (Pigeon-Blood Red is the first in a trilogy).  In short, I don’t have enough time to to devote to reading as I’d like.  That said, I read every installment of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series.  I usually bring one of these novels with me on vacation.  I’m an insomniac so I often read to help me fall asleep.  I recently read Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley and A Deadly Shade of Gold by John D. MacDonald, as well as Sun, Sand, Murder and Beach, Breeze, Bloodshed by new author and friend John Keyse-Walker.  I also read nonfiction and literary fiction when I get a chance.  I just read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and Hidden Figures by Margot Shetterly and I reread The Stranger by Albert Camus.  I’m currently reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

  1. Your book Pigeon-Blood Red, what gave you the idea for the book?  Is it based on any true events in your life?

As I mentioned, the idea for the book came to me out of nowhere while I was attending a legal seminar in Honolulu.  That was sometime in the mid-90’s, which is an indication of how long it took for me to find the time to finish it.  In my mind’s eye I saw a beautiful woman traveling alone and carrying something valuable that dangerous people were trying to get their hands on, and I saw a lawyer (like me!) coming to her rescue.  Over the years that followed, I filled in details, many of which changed as a result of the many drafts and redrafts.  The title also changed.  It was originally Murder in Paradise. The “something” the woman was carrying became a pigeon-blood red ruby necklace worth millions.  The phrase “pigeon-blood red” was coined centuries ago by Indian gem dealers.  It describes the color of the rarest and most valuable rubies in the world, the same color as the first few drops of blood that trickle from the nostrils of a freshly killed pigeon.

Paul Elliott, one of the two main characters, is a lawyer.  He is a highly idealized version of my younger self.  Everything about him is fictional, however, except for two very small details that aren’t pivotal to the narrative.  At one point, Paul recalls a childhood fight with another boy and at another point he recalls a court case he handled when another lawyer was unable to do so.  Those two events actually happened.

  1. Regarding the writing of this book and future books, what is your writing process?

I write the first draft in long hand (actually I print) on a legal pad.  I then make changes to that draft in long hand.  By the time I’m finished, no one except me could possibly read what I’ve written.  I then transfer that draft to my computer and do several additional drafts on the computer.

  1. I see you studied law.  Do you use any of that knowledge in your writing?  If so, how much of it is involved?

So far I’ve not used any of my legal training in my novels.  The case to which a passing reference is made in Pigeon-Blood Red is fleshed out a little in The Last Straw, the next novel in the trilogy, which I’ve just finished.  It becomes the focal point of an argument between Paul and his girlfriend Evelyn and reveals a little about their respective characters.  Also, in that novel a teen commits a crime for which he may have to stand trial, and there is an issue concerning whether a witness will have to testify at a trial.  However, the legal issues are very basic and didn’t require any legal training to imagine or write.  I’ve consciously avoided writing legal thrillers.  Perhaps in the future I’ll find a way to weave my legal knowledge into one of my plots.

  1. For new writers, it is hard for them to get started with the process.  What advice would you have for them?

First of all, read widely.  Second, do multiple drafts and don’t be discouraged by the first draft.  Even the most polished writers will admit that their first drafts are awful.  If sending queries to agents or publishers, don’t be discouraged by rejections.  Everybody (well, almost everybody) has gotten them.  If self-publishing, hire an editor.  It will be money well spent.  No one can edit himself.  Finally, consider hiring a publicist.  Some people can do what a publicist does on their own but even if they can, the time spent probably could be better spent writing.

  1. What do you want your readers to get out of this book?

I want the readers to identify with the struggles of the main characters and feel that the characters were well drawn.  No matter where they happen to be in the novel, I want readers to look forward to reading the next page.  I want readers not to want the novel to end and I want them to eagerly await the next installment in the trilogy.  In short, I want readers to enjoy the novel immensely.

  1. Do you have a particular place that you like to write at?  What are some writing do’s and don’ts that you are willing to share?

When the muse arrives, I can write almost anywhere, at least until the muse departs.  Generally, though, I write at a table that separates my den from my kitchen.  When I transfer the first drafts to the computer, I write upstairs where my desk, files, and computer are located.

Regarding writing do’s and don’ts, I think each writer has or will develop his or her own, depending upon what is comfortable.  For instance, it is often said that a writer must write something, no matter how much, every day (or at least every weekday) or that he must force himself to write a certain number of words or pages whenever he sits down to write.  I disagree.  I think those kinds of strictures are necessary for some writers but not for all.  Another old saw is that you should write only what you know.  With the advent of the internet, that is much less true today than perhaps it used to be.  I think you should should write what you like to write.  If the subject matter interests you, you will be willing to do the necessary research so that by the time you start writing, you are in fact writing what you know.

  1. For writers who love crime, what do you have in the vault for the future?  Any series?  Standalones?

As mentioned, I just finished The Last Straw, which is the second in the trilogy that began with Pigeon-Blood Red.   I have to decide whether to self-publish it or to try to publish it traditionally.  The third in the trilogy has already been written as a screenplay (unproduced), so I just have to convert it to a novel.  The title of the screenplay is Rico Stays, which I intend to use for the novel.  I don’t currently have a standalone in mind but I am not ruling it out.  Also, it’s possible that I’ll expand the trilogy.

  1. What events are coming up for you? The only event I have coming up is an appearance before the Thrillers and Chillers Book Club at the Henderson Memorial Public Library in Jefferson, Ohio on August 26 at 1:00 p.m.

About The Author:

 Ed Duncan is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio for many years. He currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH and is at work on the second installment in the Pigeon-Blood Red trilogy. To learn more, go to http://eduncan.net/

Connect with Ed on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.