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I have to interrupt your holiday gluttony to let everyone know that Infinite Sacrifice is free today on Amazon! It went free yesterday and I’m wearing out my refresh button watching the downloads climb. This is so much fun! My ebook is ranked #5 in free historical fantasies and I’ve had 470 downloads so far. I joined KDP Select in order to have the ability to control making my book free, and so far I’m very pleased with it. Please be sure to pick up your free copy if you haven’t already done so–tomorrow it will go back to $2.99.

Happy Holidaying!

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An Email From Santa!

Email from Santa

*Go to http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/home to make your own! FREE!*

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Print Copy Giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Infinite Sacrifice by L.E. Waters

Infinite Sacrifice

by L.E. Waters

Giveaway ends January 03, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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Thanksgiving Story

We sometimes forget the great story behind our holidays, since each holiday usually requires so much hustle and bustle. We forget while our grocery carts are crammed inside overcrowded aisles. We focus on cleaning the house, making a new recipe, ordering desserts that will surely please. Some, even resent the holiday since it usually entails twice as long a trip to relatives you might not even want to see to begin with.

Children, of course, remember,  since they’ve spent all week sitting cross-legged in circles listening to the tale and metamorphosing hand prints into fat turkeys.

But there is a great story here.

A group of desperate, starving outcasts and adventurers struggle to tame a foreign wilderness and barely make it through their first winter. If it hadn’t been for the generous Native Americans, teaching them how to live of the new land, they would surely have perished. I’m sure it was difficult for these pious settlers to rely on these ‘primitive’ people, but they had no choice. After their first bountiful harvest they celebrated with a three-day feast with the natives who made it all possible.

You could decide to end the story here on a happy note, or you could use it as a cautionary tale, since things didn’t turn out so well for the natives.

 

 

So, for some of you, you might embrace this time to give thanks for what we have. While others might decide not to travel or host their difficult relatives in hopes of avoiding yet another Thanksgiving family argument. Either way, it all goes back to the original Thanksgiving story.

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Taking a sick day

Due to a nasty cough that is circulating around my house, I’m neglecting my blog today. Hopefully, I will dodge this germ and be up and be back and blogging on Wednesday. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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Editing for dummies

I never feel dumber than when I receive my ms back from my editor. Nevermind the fact that this time I went through specifically looking for all that she pointed out before. These are all the new things I got wrong this time around:

 

1) I overused the word look/looks/looking/looked. Sad thing is I think I did a search for this word before I sent it off so I need to open a thesaurus for this exhausted verb.

2) On occasion I began sentences with And or But, apparently these make weak sentences and my editor suggests just removing them.

3) She flagged many run-ons and comma splices and suggests to use periods or semi colons.

4) Many words were repeated close together. These are so hard to point out to yourself.

5) I need clearer sentence tags in instances where I have people talking of the same sex.

 6) My horse in one of the lives changes back and forth from stallion to mare. Ooops! I changed this after the first draft and I must have missed a few.
    7) I have to quote what she actually said right here because it’s so funny and true, “All-caps and multiple exclamation points are weak writing. Exclamation points even look like little baseball bats, and you’re just whacking your reader over the head with them when you use more than one. And oftentimes, even one is too many. ;-).”   I must stop using them so much!!!
      8)  I still switch my narrative into past tense. I have gone over my ms a dozen times just looking for this since I originally wrote these three novels in past tense and my jaw drops with how many I still miss.

       

      I wish I could see what someone else’s draft looks like after an editor return so I might feel better at all these corrections. But then again, that might depress me if I saw much cleaner versions. Part of me worries that if I keep making my editor work this much she’ll realize it’s not worth the time and money to help me or she’ll increase her charge since I make her work so much more.

      Honestly though, the corrections were half the amount this time than the first of the series, so I guess I’m improving, but I really thought I’d done a good job this time…oh well, maybe by the fourth of the series I’ll impress her with my grammatical improvement.

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      Front Cover (eek!)

      Back Cover

      Spine

      First Page

      Chapter 1

      Random Page

      I can’t believe it. This day has come. I saw the small book-sized package on my front step and I couldn’t remember what book I’d ordered. Upon opening it I could hardly breathe…

      my proof had arrived!

      It was such a strange surreal moment. As if something you had only imagined had materialized right before your eyes by some white magic. As if you wanted something so badly that it wished its way into the world.

      Now, that’s not obviously what happened since I have been toiling away trying to bring this book to life –revising, beta-ing, work-shopping, editing, copyediting, formatting, and uploading, but it suddenly felt like it just appeared out of no-where on my front step.

      I’d heard on other self-published writer’s blogs that you shouldn’t expect a bookstore quality version in print, that they have bleeds, pages askew, smudges, shiny thin covers and poorer quality paper, but I was incredibly impressed.

      The 5.5″ x 8.5″ size feels wonderful with its hearty 280 pages. Yes, the cover’s shiny, but I thought it looks like many of the shiny covered Grisham/Patterson novels in my bookshelf. The cream paper is a perfect thickness and all of the print was smudge-less and straight. My mother was with me when I opened it and both of our jaws dropped with how professional it looked and felt. It was only when my husband saw it that he pointed out one flaw — the cut was slightly narrower at the top than at the bottom. Of course, now it’s all I can see, but if that’s the only thing that’s not perfect than I can live with that since it doesn’t interfere with reading. I don’t think it’s something I can tell Create Space to correct, but I’m going to get another proof to see if the same thing happens.

      All in all, this little bound book made the biggest smile spread across my face. Everything looked fantastic inside, the formatter and cover artist did a terrific job. I passed it proudly around to my large family and they all couldn’t believe how great it looked. Watching them all thumbing through it, inspecting it, and smirking (many of them doubted that I would see this through) was priceless.

      I realized that this is a huge milestone. I’ve already achieved something that not many people do. Whatever happens after this won’t take away from the fact that I set out to bring this story to life and I’ve done it –through countless distractions, agent rejections, self-teaching, and self-doubt –I’ve accomplished a life’s goal and that’s a pretty amazing feeling.

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      Why I haven’t posted…

      So sorry for the delay everyone. I’ve been in baby heaven this whole week! I had a fantastic and virtually pain-free delivery and I’m over-the-moon with this little cutie:

      My sweet little Annabelle

      I might have to delay a few more posts until I can bear to put her down for the computer, but I will be back in action and working toward my launch once again soon I promise!

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      9/11: Ten Years Gone By

      With so many things in life there seems to be a strange confliction in how much time has passed. When I think of where and who I was ten years ago, it seems like just yesterday and an eternity has gone by. So much has changed since then–so much in my life and so much in the world.

      I was in my last year at college, living off-campus in the middle of rural Pennsylvania. That morning I was already cleaning out cages at the wildlife rehabilitation center where I interned. I was sent back to the work shed to get another wheelbarrow and heard on the radio, that was left on all day regardless of an audience, that a small plane had hit the World Trade Center. I heard it just as I was walking back to the bear cages and it seemed like the newscasters where doubting the information and many thought if it was anything it was only a small wayward private plane crash.

      I told the owners of the center what happened and they shrugged their shoulders and we continued to clean and feed the animals. I jumped into my jeep wrangler and headed home on the country road, listening to John Denver, and passing beautiful Amish farms. The crisp sunny autumn weather made me yearn for an apple cider candle. I decided to stop at a candle store and found the shop eerily empty. I located the two cashiers in the back of the store with hands over their mouths watching two buildings burning on the small TV. They didn’t even turn at my presence and I realized something was horribly wrong. I rushed out the store and turned on my radio as I speed home. On the way the first tower collapsed and I ran into my little house to see what they described on the TV. It was such a gut twisting sight, to see that tower cave in. I remember feeling that it all must not really be happening. That this was such a profound event that it couldn’t possibly be true. Strange how shock interferes with reality.

      I called my mother first and tried to think of everyone I knew and if they worked in the area. My mind even raced to figure out if anyone I knew was flying on a plane that day. I had a sister that had flown out only days before from the same airport they hijacked the planes from and a sister who normally worked in NYC was vacationing in France. Thankfully everyone I knew was safe that day. The boyfriend I was with at the time worked in Paramus, NJ directly across from the Towers and his building had bomb threats right after the attacks. He could see the World Trade Center towers smoking and saw the whole area consumed by the dust cloud. It took him all day to get to my house with the bridges being closed due to terror threats. Classes were canceled and I stayed glued to the TV for the next few days. I drove home the following weekend and cried when every bridge I passed had our stars and stripes hanging from it. Houses all flew their flags as well as passing cars. I will never forget that incredible feeling of patriotism surrounding me.

      So now it’s ten years later. The anniversary ground zero readings all seem to blur to a single rainy, tear-filled day. I’ve graduated, said goodbye to that boyfriend, found a job completely unrelated to the animal behavior major in NYC, got married, had my first child, and now I’m about to have my second. It’s quite possible that he or she might be born on that day and I’m not so sure how I feel about that. Obviously what’s meant to be is meant to be but it’s day filled with so much emotion, I wonder if it has room for any more?

      All of us who were alive on that day can relive each detail this Sunday. It’s a day etched and fortified in our memories…the day that can never be lost.

      How are you feeling on this day? Does it really feel like ten years have passed? How have these ten years changed you?

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      Gone Fishin’

       

      Due to a fantastic vacation I will not be posting this whole week! See you next Monday 🙂

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