Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2nd Edition - February 15, 2012

Finding treasures at the library--Part I
By Mary Martinez
We have a new amazing library in our little town, and I haven't been to play there as often as I should. The other night I had an opportunity to browse around and I found a treasure. No, not a book. But a list of them.

A bit of background here. My library is part of the county library services and like any library they have their own programs. One of their programs is called Reader's Choice Awards. This is the 20th year they've been doing this. Two times a year the librarians pick their favorite books and post them in a booklet of nominee's that is available at the library for approx. four months. The reader's pick up these lists and read the blurb and decide what to read, then vote for their favorite. And then you know, the one with the most votes win.

I picked up a list of the Award Winners from 1998 through 2011, what a list of treasures. The very first winner-- 1998 January - April was The Maze by Catherine Coulter. She is one of my favorite authors. So I did a little research, and The Maze is her second book of her FBI series, with The Cove (which I've read) being her first. She was just starting out. Of course, now I need to read The Maze. What a wonderful find, one of my favorite's, from her beginnings. And maybe the only reason The Cove didn't win, was it came out two years before our library system started the program.

The 2nd winner of 1998 was The Starlite Drive-in by Marjorie Reynolds. I've never heard of her so I did some digging. And this novel has been re-released just last year. Sounds great, it's about: The discovery of human bones at the site of an old drive in. Yuppers, it's on my to be read list. Who knows, maybe I've found a new favorite.

Now I have two new books to read--that are old. What treasures from the past can you find? Please let us know what you find. We would love to what you've read of older publications.

The staff here at Canyonland Press thought this was such a fun idea we're going to do our own version. As you know, we'll be having a Madam/Monsieur Librarian Book Recommendation of the month. These will be our nominations for first Canyonland's Reader's Choice Award's. In September we'll list the first 6 recommendations for our readers to vote on. ANOTHER challenge for all of you; Read each book so you can vote for your favorite! Our first Librarian Recommendation and Reader's Choice Nomination coming March 1st.

READ A BOOK Write a Review
By Anna Sugg

I talked to my sister the other day. She’s an avid reader–always with a book in hand, and now, her Kindle. Some of her favorite authors are Nora Roberts, Carla Neggers, Iris Johansen, Karen Robards, Clive Cussler, and Catherine Coulter. She has even emailed Cussler and Roberts, and others, which is great. Even Nora Roberts answers her emails and once sent her a mug. So naturally, I asked which author she was reading.
Wow! She actually was reading my historical romance novel, The Quartering Act. Why is that a Wow? Well, she never reads historicals. And, that’s okay; you know the old saying - to each his own. So, I was pleasantly surprised that she had decided to read my Revolutionary War romance. How great is that?
I went on to ask her if she writes reviews on the novels she reads, especially her favorites. She said nope, never thought about it.

My mouth dropped.

Why, I asked? She shrugged. I just haven’t thought about it. (I forgot to mention, I was talking to her on Skype since we live several states apart – love that Skype.) My sister took time to email her favorite authors, but not do reviews. So that brings me to my point: Reviews

How do you write a review?
First of all, to review a book is to describe and evaluate the novel, not retell the story. There is no right way to write a review. Everyone’s different; a book review is personal and only the opinion of the reviewer. You can write a short or long review, up to you.

You with me so far?

Okay, here are a few tips:

Read the book. No brainer. Make it simple.

Start by giving the title, genre, and the author’s name. Not necessarily in that order.
You may want to mention the significance of the title, if it fit or not. Write about the characters that move the story along. If you didn’t feel the character(s) developed along the way, state so and why you feel that way. Don’t give away the story, that’s not fair to someone that wants to read the book you’re reviewing.

Were the characters believable? Did you have a favorite character, and if so, why? Did you relate to any one character in the story?

Where was the setting and did you have a sense of the surroundings and environment.

Did the plot play out in a way that kept you reading and did the resolution engage you in a satisfied feeling?
Did you like the book? Favorite part? What would you change? Ending? (oops, remember, don’t reveal the story.)

When writing your review, you don’t have to answer all these questions, just give your opinion about the story. Be honest, after reading a book, you know you have an opinion one way or another. Don’t you?
Now, be brave, write reviews. My sister said she would.

by Marie Higgins

Have you ever read a book that had been getting rave reviews and everyone was talking about only to find you didn’t like it?

I know everyone has their own opinions about what books are good and which aren't, but have you ever been reading a book and all of a sudden you were yanked right out of a story—thrown to the ground, and stomped on? Oh, I have!! And I hate being pulled out of stories like that. So have you ever wondered why you were pulled out so forcefully?

There are a few things that can disrupt readers while in the midst of a good story. Spelling errors are one – although keep in mind that ALL published books will have a few spelling errors...even Stephen King or even Stephanie Meyers! But mainly, I want to focus on in this article is inaccuracies.

I’m a historical writer, which means I thrive on research. I know I’m not going to be 100% accurate (since there's no way of knowing exactly what happened back in history), but I want to come as close as I can. I remember a long time ago I was reading a Medieval Romance. The author was new, but still with a pretty big publisher. Most everything I read was historically accurate – as far as I knew, anyway. But the one thing that kept pulling me out was when her characters greeted each other. “Hello, fair maiden.” “Hello, Sir Hunkiness.” (yeah, I’m being silly now, but you get the picture.) Did you know that the word HELLO wasn’t used in medieval times? So why didn’t the publisher know that? And why didn't the publisher (or author) know that a reader out there somewhere will also know that?

A friend of mine said she was reading a book where the characters lived in California and they drove from point A in California to point B in six hours. Because she was raised in this area she knew there was no way the characters could make it in six hours...unless their car had wings. So even little things like this are big things if it pulls a reader out of a story.

I've talked about this subject to a few people at work who read a lot! They were not aware of some of the things that pulls a reader out of a story. They have been pulled out before, they just didn't know why. you do! (grins)

So my question to you is – what pulls you out of a story?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

1st Edition - February 1, 2012

Welcome to our Grand Opening Issue!
Howdy Neighbors!
By Mary Martinez
I'm excited to be a part of this new great adventure. Canyonland Press A Readers Magazine for the Inquiring Mind. It's a bi-monthly FREE, yes you heard right, free readers magazine—on the 1st and the 15th of each month.

Our goal is to be the word of mouth of readers. If you love to read, here will be a place to come to research your next book to read. Find out what is hot to read....

You may wonder why I look strangely like a Kindle--would you believe it's because I read too much? Didn't think so. For our Grand Opening Month we are having a Kindle Giveaway. All you need to do to be in the drawing is help us Spread the word! To find out how, check out the rules. Good luck to all!

I want to tell you a little bit about our vision for Canyonland Press. If you want to know all about me, I'm on the 'about us' page. It's worth a peek, you may find out something surprising.

Our mission is to have entertaining and important information to enlighten readers of all ages and different genres preferences. Each month we will have a book recommendation by a librarian, after all they are in the know, in addition we will have a highlight of the author. We also want to hear your thoughts, readers, if you want to read about something let Anna know.

If you check out the side of our page (to the right), you'll see links to our Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads pages, please join us at any or all. You can follow us so you won't miss anything fun (or important). Thank you for joining us. It's our 1st issue, cause for celebration. Next issue the meaty stuff!

By Anna Sugg

To the side is a picture of Mary Martinez and Anna Sugg
January 2, 2012 - Planning meeting for Canyonland Press eMagazine.
When Mary Martinez first contacted me about an emagazine for readers, I thought it a good idea. Not until we met (picture above) on that first day to discuss all the ins and outs, with Marie Higgins on speaker phone, did I get really get excited about Canyonland Press eMagazine.  The one thing I know for sure is that without you, the reader, who would read our stories?

I’m not only an author of contemporary and historical romances, but like you, I’m also a reader. A couple of years ago, my hubby bought me a Kindle and I couldn’t put it down. I read more books in one month than I had in years. It stays in my purse and goes everywhere with me. I’m sure many of you are the same, no matter what reader you carry. I love being able to purchase books from authors that have decided to go with ebooks. This has given me the opportunity to read so many good stories by unknown authors.
Thank you so much for being part of our eReaders, and please, stop by our eMagazine often and don’t hesitate to let us know what you would like to see in this emagazine. We’ll listen. We are here for you, the Reader.

Welcome from me too!
By Marie Higgins

I'll start out by saying I'm not a stranger to writing. When I was in junior high, I loved writing poems - as long as they were in a story format. In high school, I wrote skits for my church, which everyone loved because they were funny. After I married and started having children, I continued to write skits for my church and the community which were performed and judged. I received awards for "Best Written" and "Funniest".  It took only a few years later when I realized I wanted to write a novel, and one book lead into two, which evolved into many. I'm a published author with several books out in several different genres. I love writing historical romance, but I've also tried my hand at romantic comedy, Inspirational, and paranormal. A few years back I was the President for a writing group here in Utah (Romance Writers of America), and I wrote monthly articles for our newsletter.

I love to entertain (just ask my family and my co-workers), and I also love to help other struggling writers. I don't claim to know everything, but I'll definitely share what I have learned over the years. I'm constantly thinking of ways to be funny, so beware.

On a personal note, I'm married with three daughters and three grandchildren. I work full time for the State of Utah. Aside from my family and my church, I don't have a life because I can't wait to emerge myself in my stories which always takes me to different lands and eras.

I can't wait to share my knowledge and research with our magazine readers!  I have talked to many readers about what kind of articles they would like to see on Canyonland Press' emagazine. I'm excited to put these suggestions to use. If anyone has questions or suggestions, please let us know!

Next Issue will be February 15th chock full of fun stuff for readers! Mark your calendars