Tag Archives: Amazon

Would You Like Some Bookmarks?

A Vacancy at the Inn - Bookmark FrontA few weeks ago I gushed all over everywhere about my first-ever bookmarks. How could that be? I’ve been publishing books for a long time. Why have I never had a bookmark?

It was way back in a bygone century that I began publishing. No YouTube videos. No Twitter feeds. And definitely no Email blasts. If you wanted to spread the word across the nation or even across the county you did it via the US Post Office. With a stamp and a written-out address and a drop-off at the P.O. In those days I did all of that with postcards of my bookcover.

Then I took a sixteen-year timeout from novel writing to help raise our grandchildren and when I returned the world had changed. Facebook friends and Twitter followers and YouTube viewers had arrived. I waded into all of that and enjoyed it too. But something was missing.

I wanted a real-word object I could carry in my hand and give to my non-Facebook friends and maybe even stuff into a stamped envelope once in a while. I resisted that growing urge through two novels. But my Christmas book did me in.

The cover was perfect. Red background with feathery white snowflakes and frost blossoms. Even pine trees in the background. I was overwhelmed by the impulse to spread that image everywhere. Postcards felt passe so I settled on bookmarks.

I turned to The Killion Group Inc. as always and Kim herself adapted the cover image to a bookmark that catapulted me directly into rapture. I had no choice but to put my money where my enthusiasm was and make an order. Five hundred or a thousand were the same price so I said “Let’s go with the thousand of course.”

Then the delivery arrived. At first I thought the two stacks in the center of the box were it but I was mistaken. There were two more equally tall-tall stacks on either side. Have you ever seen a thousand bookmarks? The only appropriate response was “EEK!!!”

I wouldn’t say I panicked but I came close. What was I going to do with this gi-normous quantity of bookmarks? Beautiful bookmarks for sure. I’m puffed-up proud of them. But a gi-normous quantity all the same.

My author friends have encouraged me to be bold on behalf of my bookmarks. So I’ve been doing that. At a perfectly nice lunch I shoved a packet of you-know-what between my companion and her appetizer.

My husband Jonathan is carries mounds of bookmarks to work with him. I’ve plastered my dentist’s office with them. And libraries and bookstores and laundromats. Still a gi-normous quantity remains.

So if you like bookmarks – email me your ground mail address at aliceorrbooks@gmail.com and say “I’ll take some of those bookmarks Alice.” I’ll send them out to you with Joy and Love from Alice.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

 A Vacancy at the Inn is the first Christmas Novella of Alice Orr’s Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series. A holiday bargain for just 99 cents at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017RZFGWC.

A Taste of the Holidays

Alice's Broken Corn Bread

At the holiday season I love to fill the house with the aroma of good cooking – especially the sweet spice kind. But I must confess I don’t like to work too hard at it.

The result is Alice’s Sweet Spice Corn Bread. This is an easy recipe. An almost but not quite ready-made recipe that begins with a box and ends with a fragrant kitchen and a non-yeast bread that partners very well with other holiday flavors.

Start with two eggs and a third-cup of milk. Beat them together in a small bowl and set aside. To a separate larger bowl add an 8.5-ounce box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. Maybe there are other brands that will work but inexpensive Jiffy is what I’ve always used.

Now for my added personal touch. Into the corn muffin/bread mix – whisk two tablespoons of brown sugar – light or dark as you prefer. Add one teaspoon of cinnamon and a half-teaspoon of nutmeg plus a quarter-teaspoon of allspice. That’s the sweet spice part.

Add the egg-and-milk mix to the corn bread-spices mix. Whisk some more but not too much – only until everything is moistened. Otherwise the bread will turn out tough and we don’t want tough bread. We just want to be tough cookies. Please forgive the lame kitchen humor.

You’re not quite done yet. Fold in a handful or two of raisins or dried cranberries. I prefer dried cranberries. Chopped dates or dried blueberries are other possibilities. For Christmas I add candied fruit – the kind my mother used in her actually delicious fruitcake. But not too much candied fruit. It’s heavy and can keep the bread from rising.

Let the batter sit for four minutes or so. Meanwhile coat a 3.5 by 7.5 inch loaf pan well with nonstick spray. Add the batter. I like to sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top. Colored sugars are another festive holiday choice. Don’t use too much or it. Just a sprinkling.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Try not to over-bake it.

Now for my Special Serving Suggestion. To make your bread look just like mine in the photo. Drop it on the floor. Make sure nobody’s watching. Pick it up quickly. Dust it off. Place it on a pretty holiday plate. Serve with a smile.

This recipe first appeared in my newsletter – Orr What? News – which features free books and other giveaways too. If you’d like to receive future issues free by eMail – go to my website and sign up. Click here to do that http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

Alice Orr

RR

A Vacancy at the Inn is the first Christmas Novella of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense SeriesA holiday bargain for just 99 cents at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017RZFGWC. Enjoy!

Make a Plan – Hear God Laugh – Orr What? Wednesday

 

God Laughs image“If you want to hear God laugh – make a plan.” I’ve heard that so often because I say it so often. Too bad I apparently didn’t listen to myself saying it. I went made a plan for launching my next book. A well thought out and specific plan – maybe even foolproof – or so I believed.

I alerted everybody. The wonderful women at The Killion Group Inc. who design my covers and format my books and get them into print. My website developer who is also at Killion. My brand new newsletter designer. And of course my controlling self.

“Let’s all be on the same page.” That was the message. We’d be coordinated and ready on the same day – Monday June 22nd  – absolutely not a minute before. I sincerely believed I could make that happen just because I said it would happen. Has anybody ever heard of Hubris?

I happened to be on line last week at the amazon.com site and there it was. The print paperback version of A Year of Summer Shadows. It’s been there since April. You can see for yourself at http://amazon.com/author/aliceorr. Not supposed to be there but it is.

What the hey! I say. The closest I was allowed to cussing back in the North Country when I was a kid growing up where my story’s also set. Let’s put out the eBook early too. Except – at last sighting – amazon had missed my memo. Print book and eBook aren’t on the same page.

I hear laughter. I can’t tell if it’s on high or only inside my head. I made a plan. I convinced myself it would work. Most foolish of all – I believed it made a difference. I forgot that when it comes to writing stories and putting them out into the world only one thing matters.

“You find your readers one person at a time.”

Remembering that jolted me to my senses. For one thing the words strike me as absolutely true. For another thing they prompt me to ask myself how we do that. How do we attract readers one at a time?

The only conclusion I can come up with is this. We must each turn the question toward ourselves individually. “How do I do that? How do I find my readers one at a time?” Which prompts other questions also.

#1. What is the special gift I have to offer others – one potential reader at a time?

Maybe it’s humor. Maybe it’s expertise and insights. Maybe it’s simply telling a damned good story. We must open our kitbags and examine the contents closely. What is in there that others might need? What is in there that others might want? Then we must resolve to give it away.

#2. What access can I create for giving my gift away – one potential reader at a time?

When searching for resources – we must first step outside our own front door and look up and down the street. Start local. Cultivate that ground. Plow on from there. Our own front door being any repository of information about people we actually know – or almost know – firsthand.

#3. What if someone says this is too slow to go – one potential reader at a time?

Personally I do my best every day to fight back that fear. Because I know full well in this internet place I am a single voice among a thundering avalanche of voices. But as a giver of my gifts to each single soul I am singular as well – as are you. And that single number counts.

So we keep on Facebooking and Tweeting and Uploading and all the rest. We keep on making plans. Maybe God is laughing but I believe that laugh has an affectionate ring. Meanwhile – down here in this crowded world – we would do well to keep in mind and heart the best plan of all. To have some fun as we reach out toward one reader – one person – at a time.

RR

A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Launches with summer on June 22nd – or whenever – at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. This is my 13th novel and while God may be laughing I can’t help but smile. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.