Friday, December 27, 2013

Three Rules Kindle version for 99 cents

Three Rules is available in Kindle form on Amazon for 99 cents through January 1st. It reached
# 35, 694 in paid kindle ranking. I was pretty excited by that since it is the highest ranking it has reached in paid kindle yet. Hoping to see it climb a little higher. Crossing my fingers for more downloads while working very hard to spread the word about its existence. :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Trading Reviews - Why I Don't

A Thought For Thursday



  I have been approached by other authors and asked if I would like to swap a review for a review. I have come across several groups who do the same thing. One of the reason I don't participate in these review exchanges is because it changes the experience for me. I am an avid reader and I write a lot of book reviews. I do have a lot of requests for reviews. I sort through them, picking out the ones I would truly be interested in reading and believe I will enjoy. I also scan free book downloads and the library website for things I would like. I read and review them. I don't want it to feel like pressure, or work. It is supposed to be fun. 
  I also don't want to feel pressured to withhold my absolute honest opinion. I am a nice person. I don't enjoy giving less than stellar reviews. I am truly thrilled when I can give a 5 star review because the book really blew me away. I will always give an honest review. I try to point out something positive, even if I felt the book just wasn't for me, or I didn't enjoy it for whatever reason.
  I want to believe in others' reviews of my book. I don't want to question a 5 star review, wondering if that shiny boon was given in hopes that I would reciprocate. I want someone to experience my book in a natural sequence. It catches their attention in some way, they read the description, maybe check the reviews, and then decide to read it because they feel they would enjoy it. If they do enjoy it, or not, I want their honest opinion reflected in stars, and hopefully a well written review explaining their feelings. To me, an honest 2 is better than a fake 5. I put it out there for the world to judge, hoping that it is liked and willing to accept it if it isn't - I want the opinion to be real, and deserved. When I see a book that has all positive reviews it makes me suspicious. Maybe it is just me. I also feel betrayed and angry when I see rave reviews only to download and read something, and figure out they were sugar coated at best, and out-right lies at the worst.

 I have now seen a few sites where there have been advancements with trading reviews, and they are working on a system where you can join the group and then pick books to read and review anonymously, thus avoiding the "reciprocation" factor. This may be interesting. I just wonder how the whole transfer of review to Amazon and other sites would work, because ultimately that is what an author wants, right? Couldn't you just find the review on another site and figure out who wrote it? I guess a little more examination is required on that subject.

Three Rules Blog Tour

Three Rules Virtual Book Blog Tour




RedBird Publicity Presents the Three Rules Blog Tour Stops

* Review Included
* Possible Review Included
No (*) Author Interview, Giveaway, and other Promotional Posts


11/22                Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
                        Bonnie’s Book Blog
                     
11/23               Read For Your Future

11/24                Trulee V’s Spot
                        Ali’s Books

11/25               McGuffy’s Reader *

11/26                Nj Kinny’s World of Books *

11/27               Tina Marie Says

11/29                Fiction Dreams

11/30                The Adventures Within *

12/2                  Kelsey’s Book Corner

12/4                  Desert Rose

12/5                The Pensive Chronicler

12/6                  Bonnie’s Book Blog *
                       Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

12/7                  So Many Books, Here’s Mine

12/9                  Book Worm Reads     

12/12                Tina Marie Says

12/13                The Literary Word *
                       To Read or Not To Read

12/15                Cracked Spines *

12/17                Tina Marie Says

12/18                The Worm Hole*

12/19                 A Word Please 

12/20                 Minding Spot *
                         Fallen Over Book Reviews *

a Rafflecopter giveaway



DURING THE BLOG TOUR:


Purchase a paperback copy through Paypal, using your Paypal account, or credit card and be sure to give your shipping address. Promotional book price $6.99 plus $3.00 S&H (USPS media mail delivery within the United States only). I will then autograph a copy and mail it to you. Please allow at least 3 weeks for delivery to you.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Guest Post for Tina Marie Says

  When I was young, I suffered things no child should suffer. I didn't talk about it. I didn't cry out for help. I stuffed it way down inside my heart. I closed myself off. It changed the way I saw myself. It changed the way I thought others saw me. It changed my outlook on the whole world. It changed the way I let people treat me, and had a snowball effect on my life. By the time I was a teenager I was involved in an abusive relationship, which I didn't think was a big deal when it started out. In the back of my mind I thought, "This isn't right." But I didn't try very hard to stand up for myself. I let a boy bully and intimidate me, for fear that I wasn't good enough, that nobody would like me, I would not get another boyfriend. I accepted the mental tormenting and verbal abuse, and even though I would occasionally gain enough courage to make a small stand for my value as a person, the results of my uprising would always send me reeling back where I started - afraid of rejection and worn down to accepting the attacks as something I had to live with.

Some things I heard as a teenager:

If you wear makeup, you are trying to get attention from other guys. You don't love me.

if you dress that way, you are being a slut. You don't love me.


If you talk to other guys you are flirting. You don't love me.


If you go out with your friends, you are cheating on me. You don't love me.


If you don't do "this" or "that" or if everything isn't my way, then it's over between us. If you loved me, you would... If you want me to stay with you, you will...


If you try to leave me,  I will die. I can't live without you. You will be responsible for whatever happens to me. You are killing me.


 You may think, controlling loser. Yes, you would be right. However, in my convoluded mind, I thought, "only boy who likes me, only boy who pays attention to me, only boy who will love me". I would buckle to the pressure and never ending arguing and yelling if I didn't give in to the demands.
 And I continued to accept this relationship as "the norm". Yes, I broke up with this boy on and off, but I never had the strength or courage to stay away from him.
Then one day I married him. I had two sons with him. He had a substance abuse problem that escalated the verbal beatings.

Some things I heard as a wife:

Nobody else will want you. You had two kids. You're not attractive anymore. You're fat.

You have nothing. Everything you have is mine, because of me. This house is mine. Everything in it is mine.

You are a loser. You would be nothing without me.

Why can't you do more? I have to work all the time. I am not changing diapers. Why can't you keep those kids quiet while I am trying to sleep!

We will have sex when I want, the way I want, and it doesn't matter if you want to.

I don't remember saying/doing that...but if I did, then I'm sorry. You know I don't know/remember what I'm doing when I'm drunk.

If you try to leave me, I will kill you. I will kill you before anyone else has you.

  Before I knew it, nine years had passed. Nine long years. I was always trying to do more, be more, always trying to establish my worth, my value by what others - specifically my husband - thought of me. Sadly, he didn't think much. I worked. I ran a daycare for sixty hours a week. I also did all the housework, cooking, and caring for my own children. My husband never had to lift a finger. I even went out and cleared the snow from his car so he could go to work, and laid his clothes out and ran his bath/shower water for him. This did not earn me a reprieve from the psychological whippings.
  My husband had a substance abuse problem, which escalated the situation. I finally decided to say, "No more." I demanded he get help. My boys did not need to live that way. He lied about getting help, or the addiction was too much for him to deal with. It could be possible he tried and failed. I don't know. I do know his abuse became physical. A push, a shove, a slap, and then the day the whole world changed.
   This person I had spent nearly fifteen years trying to placate took a screwdriver and threatened to kill me in front of my children. He was arrested. That was the day I said, "I am better than this. I deserve better than this. Most of all, my children deserve better than this." I am so thankful for my boys. I truly believe if it had been just me, it would have been so hard for me to extract myself from the situation. I love them more than life itself. It was because of them I ended the cycle of abuse.
  So, Three Rules is a fiction book, but believe me when I say that much of the thought processes, feelings and reactions are real. It was written with the intention of raising awareness and helping people to be able to break the cycle of abuse. It was also written with sincere respect and sensitivity for the readers' feelings while trying to convey the honest and realistic feelings of an abuse survivor. Such as in this post, I tried to be as delicate as possible for the gritty details of things I suffered at the hands of my husband are too horrible to relay.
 
  I was condemned by a member of my community for writing this book. She stated that she knows things like this happen in the world, but being a Christian woman she feels they shouldn't be talked about. I could not disagree more. I don't think it can be talked about enough. I don't think enough light can be shed on the subject, drawing children out from the dark corners they hide in, fearful of shame or condemnation. Let's remove the guilt and embarrassment from the victims and place it where it belongs - on the perpetrators. Please, encourage your children, any children, all children to speak up if they are victims. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, or any kind of abuse, please seek help.
  To wrap up this story, I want to tell you that it can get better. I am remarried now to a wonderful man who values me, but most importantly - I value myself. We have four sons. My husband and I are very dedicated to each other and we are advocates for children's rights. We became foster parents and fostered more than fifteen children over a five year time frame.   
  Getting well is a long process, and I don't think it ever ends. But, take a step in that direction, each step gets lighter.

Two Question Tuesday

 
Two Question Tuesday
 
 
 
1.) Do you play a musical instrument?
 
I do not currently play any instruments. I did play the French Horn for six years in my school band, and was quite good at it. The case for that thing was bigger than I was. I had a hard time lugging it around.
 
 
2.) Are you a good public speaker?
 
I am a very nervous public speaker. If I have to speak in front of a group or crowd, I tend to write down what I want to say, exactly as I want to say it, and keep it with me. When I was in school I entered spelling bees and storytelling contests, trying to conquer the "fear" of being in front of a crowd, but it didn't go away. 


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Borrow Three Rules For Free on Amazon Prime

Three Rules for Kindle is $3.99 during my blog tour. If you are a member of Amazon Prime you can borrow it for free until December 24th, and I would so appreciate it. As you are probably aware, there are A LOT of books on Amazon. Three Rules is now at #124,026 Paid in Kindle Store. When someone borrows it, it moves up in ranking and gets a little more exposure on Amazon, So every borrow counts. http://www.amazon.com/Three-Rules-Marie-Drake-ebook/dp/B00F0OO6WO/

Two Question Tuesday

 
Two Question Tuesday





1.) Are you much of a gambler?

I don't really gamble. My husband has convinced me to buy a lottery ticket a couple times, but, gambling generally feels like throwing money away and I am far too thrifty for that.

2.) What has been your worst haircut/style?

Just before my sister's wedding (quite a few years ago) I had tried to color my hair ash brown. It came out this weird color that was wayyyy to dark for me. I looked ridiculous. I tried to change it back to the regular color three times and finally had it all cut off. It was horrible.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thought For Thursday - Chocolate Cake

A Thought For Thursday
 
 
 
I love chocolate cake, that is my thought this Thursday. I saw some recipes posted and thought I'd share mine. I just made this two nights ago, it is my four boys' favorite chocolate cake.
 
 
 
 
My Double Chocolate Cake Recipe: Quick, Easy, Moist, & Delicious. No Frosting Required.

1 ⅔ cups all purpose flour

1 cup packed light brown sugar

¼ cup baking cocoa

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

1 cup water

⅓ cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. vinegar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¾ cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 8x8x2 pan. In small mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle chips over the top. Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until center is set.

 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Two Question Tuesday

Two Question Tuesday



1.) Have you ever fired a gun?

No. I have never fired a gun. Unless you count those games in the arcades.

2.) Have you ever been in a newspaper?

I have been in the newspaper many times. For academic awards when I was younger,  engagement announcements prior to marrying, and book release announcements for Three Rules. 
Oh, you didn't mean police blotter material, did you?  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Two Question Tuesday

Two Question Tuesday





1.) Have you ever been bungee jumping?

Absolutely not. I could never.

2.) Have you ever been canoeing/kayaking?

I was going to say no, but then I remembered going out on the lake when I was younger with my BFF and her daddy from their camp.

Monday, November 25, 2013

McGuffy's Reader Reviews Three Rules

McGuffy's Reader's glowing review of Three Rules for the Three Rules Blog Tour. Stop by and give it a read, leave a comment and let her know what you think. :) I thought it was fabulous! http://bit.ly/1c4zmfQ

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Two Question Tuesday

Two Question Tuesday


1.) Can you juggle?

No, I don't think I can juggle. I haven't tried it in a long time, but still don't think I can.

2.) What talents do you have?

I can crochet. I design crochet patterns. I can make jewelry. I can draw reasonably well. My husband tells me I can sing, but I'm not certain I'll claim that one. I am an excellent baker. I am a talented cook. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Reviews On Good Reads

Received the first two reviews ever on Goodreads for Three Rules, a 5 STAR and a 4 STAR, awesome!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Homeless Pups Get First Class Treatment On Virgin America's Operation Chihuahua Airlift

A Thought For Thursday



Operation Chihuahua

Who can resist a good doggie rescue story? My family adopted a dog from our local shelter. Isn't she cute? She stole our hearts. I highly encourage people to take a few hours and spend time at your local animal rescue center, even if you can't bring one of the animals home. They relish the attention they get from visitors, as some live their whole lives in the shelter.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Two Question Tuesday

 
Two Question Tuesday
 
 
 
1.) Where's the furthest place you've ever been on holiday?


The furthest place from my home was probably Disney World in Florida.
 

2.) Do you like reality TV programs?

 
Usually, no. I don't watch much tv.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dream Big

A Thought For Thursday



 
 
 
What an awesome story
 
 
Dream Big, Folks. I am so glad I gained the courage and showed the commitment to follow some of my dreams this past year. I am also thankful my husband supports me in chasing those suckers down and wrestling with them until they start to fall into place.
 

 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Feedback about Three Rules

I have received strong and wonderful feedback about the book from some of its first purchasers. I have made more than one person cry. I know - making people cry would usually make me sad, but in this instance it feels incredible!

A Thought For Thursday

A Thought For Thursday

 
 
HAPPY HALLOWEEN
 

The 23rd Annual Halloween Dog Parade held at New York's Tompkins Square Park

 You can find the entire article here:   Dog Parade


Apparently this parade caused controversy over whether or not it is appropriate to dress your dog in costumes. What do you think? Is it cute or humiliating?





Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Two Question Tuesday

 
Two Question Tuesday





1.) What's your favorite color?
  
My favorite color is red.

2.) Can you solve a rubix cube?

The last time I tried, I could not solve the rubix cube. Who else has taken all the stickers off and reattached them to get it back to normal?




Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness and a Free Cancer Awareness Ribbon Crochet Afghan Pattern

I encourage everyone to be screened. There are many places across the country where you can get these services for free or at low cost if you are uninsured, or low income. By visiting this website, http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/dcpc_Programs/default.aspx?NPID=1 you can find a location near you. I am taking advantage of this program. I turned 41 this year, and my appointment is next month for full screening. I feel very strongly about this cause.
 
As anyone who has viewed my blog or profile knows, I love to crochet. I offered this on several other websites, and thought I'd offer it here as well:
 
You can find the free pattern I designed for a cancer awareness ribbon crochet afghan pattern here:
 
Early Detection Can Save Lives
 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ten Questions Answered by author of Three Rules, Marie Drake


Q&A with Marie Drake, author of Three Rules


1. Tell me how you came to love writing.
The first time I remember writing a story was in third grade. When the teacher handed it back to me, she said, “Very well done,” and discussed my story with me. I was hooked.  

2. What other jobs have you done while working to become an author? 
I worked in a motel for several years before I had children. I ran a home daycare for over ten years after I had children. My husband and I became foster parents because of an emergency within my own family, and once it was resolved we decided to continue to foster other children. We fostered fifteen children over a five year period. More often than not we were raising eight children at a time. Currently, I have a small home based online business. I design and sell crochet afghan patterns on my website. 

3. Tell me about your book. 
I thought about writing this book for years — the setting, the characters, and so forth. I didn't have the time to actually put any of it on paper, however, until my kids grew a little older. The book takes place in a small, fictional town. It's near a lake, like my own hometown. It isn't anything too specific because it is centered on the main character's feelings and state of mind more than the location. It is written from Hope's perspective, the main character. She suffered years of abuse and never told anyone about it for fear that no one would believe her, and later that there would be repercussions within her nuclear family causing her mother and step father pain. She buried all the pain and anger inside, year after year. When her former abuser is pronounced dead in a mysterious boating accident but they don't recover the body, it magnifies her feelings of paranoia and fear. She has recurring nightmares, and she thinks she sees him, feels him following her. 

4. What kind of research did you do for the book?
Well, the story is based in a small town, on a lake, so I didn't have to stretch my imagination very far on that. I drew on my own personal life experiences when describing the feelings and emotions of the main character. I survived some things in my childhood that scarred and changed who I was forever. It affected my outlook on life, on the world, and affected my decisions and the way I lived until I was nearly thirty years old. I often wonder how different I would be if they never happened. I have also been a care giver for children who had suffered abuse, which I can't go into detail about for privacy reasons.

5. What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? 
I usually get up at 5:30 AM when my husband leaves for work and our four boys are getting ready for school. They are all out of the house by around 6:20, and I sit down with my coffee and write for a couple of hours before I have to start the regular day  —answering emails and doing customer service for my online business,  cooking, cleaning, laundry, taking care of our dog, Lady Jade. I sit at my desk in my office and write, usually in my pajamas, always with a cup of coffee. I find that is the best time for me. I have tried going back in the afternoons to write a little, but I think my best ideas come early in the morning. 

6. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part for me is letting others read what I write. Writing it is thrilling, exciting; I am passionate about it. It wasn't until recently my husband convinced me I should let other people read it. To me, it is very personal. It is a piece of me, and when others read it, it doesn't belong to just me anymore. Then it becomes a book, material for random people to pick over, piece apart, and find fault. Accepting criticism is a difficult task, but it is a necessity. I try to do so graciously, and use it constructively.

7.What’s the best thing about being an author?
I have found the best part of being an author is also letting others read what I wrote, when some one enjoys reading it — when somebody else shares the excitement I felt writing the book while they are reading it. 

8. What advice would you give writers? 
Don't give up. Life gets in the way; it may slow you down but it can't stop you if you keep moving toward your goals, even if it is an inch at a time. It can be challenging, but follow your dreams. 

9. What question do you get asked the most, and how do you answer that question?
I think the question I get asked the most is “Was it worth it, spending all this time writing a book?” My answer is yes, to me it was worth every moment I spent at the keyboard. I know they are most often speaking financially. That is not how I measure my success. I feel accomplished and proud of finishing something that I set out to do. I feel the most reward when some one enjoys what I wrote. 

10. What are you working on now?
I have started writing my next novel, tentatively called Don't Cry For Me. It is another fiction novel that I hope to release in 2014. 

You can read more about Marie Drake @ http://www.mariedrake.com or contact her @ mariedrake72@gmail.com

+Marie Drake