Friday, July 22, 2016

#Celebratethesmallthings: #Business blessings


Life has kind of been hectic for me this week. I've been busy building my new company's website and social media pages. My greatest blessing came today in that I finally finished the website for Big Bend Productions and the social networks for each business nested underneath Big Bend Productions.

 Happy Dance time!


It's been a long journey but it was all worth. I'm ready for Big Bend Productions to take off. I'm looking forward to see what next week brings me. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

#Ohio #Native #Americans: Life in Ohio's Pleistocene

Life in 
Ohio's Pleistocene

A few weeks ago I had presented to you a blog posting concerning the first inhabitants of Ohio. These Native Americans were known as Paleoindians. The Paleoindian Period of history lasted between 13,000 -7,000 B.C. The earliest evidence of human occupation in Ohio dates to 13,000 B.C. Ohio's Paleoindian period overlaps with the introduction of the Archaic Native Americans arriving in Ohio around 8,000 B.C. Scientist had hypothesis that the Younger Dryas impact may have eliminated the Paleoindians yet this is still being researched. You can read more about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas_event Whatever the cause may have been for the destruction of the Paleoindians in Ohio there is no archaeological evidence to support their existence in Ohio past 7,000 B.C.

Ohio during the Paleolitic Period was different than the Ohio we know today. Lake Erie and the Ohio
River did not exist before the glaciers came to Ohio. Instead Ohio had one major river, The Teays River. You can learn more about Ohio's Ancient Nile River at http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/magazinehome/magazine/sprsum04/teaysriver/tabid/364/Default.aspx

Map of Landscape Before the Paleoindian Period
KET Television
http://www.teachersdomain.org/asset/ket08_vid_ohioriver/

This video is from the Kentucky Educational Television and shows how the glaciers formed the Ohio River. http://www.teachersdomain.org/asset/ket08_vid_ohioriver/

Thirteen thousand years ago, the northern part of the state was completely covered by a glacier. Only 1/3 of the state was free from ice. It was very cold and moist. This slowly began to change as the glaciers retreated. The glaciers formed the Great Lakes.

Between 10,000 to 9,000 B.C, the northwestern portion of Ohio was covered by clumps of dwarf willow growing along the river banks. There were many small groves of spruce, pine, aspen, and fir trees separated by open ground. Mastodons, mammoths, elk, caribou, deer, giant beaver and caribou lived in this region. The Paleoindian hunters would often hunt in this region in order to provide for their families.  Although several prehistoric animals and Paleoindian points have been found throughout Ohio there has never been a Paleoindian point found with the remains of the animals dated to the Paleoindian Period. The Paleoindians favored hunting Caribou and possibly hunted them using the same methodology that current Eskimo groups in Alaska use today. If we study the Eskimos and their hunting methods we may have a glimpse into how the Paleoindians hunted in Ohio so long ago. You can learn more about the Paleoindian hunting patterns here http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=1200

Ohio's Paleoindians may have been living in the southeastern portion of Ohio as early as 17,000 B.C. The land above the Southeastern portion of Ohio was slowly exposed as the glaciers retreated throughout the Paleoindian Period. The Ohio River and the Great Lakes never existed before the glaciers came. The Paleoindians lived during a time where the land was being slowly and dramatically changed. Paleoindians had to live on the high ground or in caves in order to avoid the flooded valleys that the glaciers left behind as they retreated. Southeastren Ohio was a safe place for the Paleoindians to live since it had not been exposed to glaciers. Here the land was covered with oak, walnut, and hickory trees along the hillsides. The nuts were gathered by the Paleoindians and used as a supplement to their diets.

Although archeologists have never found the skeletal remains of a Paleoindian they can hypothesis what their life may have been like through archaeological records. The Ohio Paleoindians used flint that they found in river beds to make their points. Archeologists have found Paleoindian quarries and workshops along the Walhonding River in Coshocton County.

You can learn more about Ohio's Paleoindians at
http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=40&g2_page=2

Monday, July 18, 2016

LTW: Child Prodigies #education #gifted


Thinking Outside the Box
The Child Prodigy

Prodigy. 
What images does that word bring to your mind? Is the child a musician? Actor? Sport star? The word could describe any child who excels at a particular task. The world has always had child prodigies.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is perhaps the best well known prodigy. Mozart began playing the harpsichord when he was three years old. Two years later, he composed and published his first piece of music. He was tested by the lawyer and naturalist, Daines Barrington, when he was ten years old. The result? Barrington found that Wolfgang had a superior skill for sight reading. Wolfgang composed more than 600 pieces of music before his death at the age of 35. 


But what about today? Are there still child prodigies that walk among us? The answer is yes. Child prodigies will never end. While they are admired by society for their ingenuity and creativity at such a young age they are often overlooked when they become adults because they no longer surprise us with their depth of knowledge. Child prodigies can grow up to have meaningful lives if they are encouraged by their parents to actively pursue their creativity.  The impact of parenting a child prodigy can either encourage or stifle their creative abilities. 




Parents and educators who work with a child prodigy oftentimes can feel it is a challenge. These children are very curious about the world. They have their own ideas that may not agree with the rules of society. Yet, if encouraged and gently guided by the adults in their lives they can live a productive, meaningful life. If we allow them to contribute to the world they may just change it for the better.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

What'sUpWithAllison: Righting What Went So Wrong #publishing



It's been another busy week for me. I'm in the process of preparing to launch my new publishing house, Marfa House, and my photography company, Castolon Studios. The opening of Marfa House has given me the opportunity to revisit my book, Calico. Calico was my first book. It went through several independent publishing houses. I endured a rough start to my writing career with publishing houses who didn't know what they were doing. I even had a house who published Calico without the formatting and they lost five chapters of the book! Needless to say, I was grateful when I had the opportunity to establish my own publishing house. I brought Calico over to Mountain Springs House but I ran into some trouble with the editor and formatter I had hired. Calico was re-released but I still wasn't satisfied.

This time I've learned from my publishing and business experiences. I spent two and half days, editing and reformatting Calico. It has a new cover, updated ending, and new chapter headings.



I did all the graphics, editing and formatting myself. I wanted only the best for my books.




In the end, it really helped me to center on what needed to be done with the second book. Some things just didn't make sense as I wrote them. That's because my timeline was off.

I'm back to writing the sequel to Calico. I'll post the links to the updated versions of Calico available in print and ebook when I have it. Have a great week!


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Dear Diary: Jakob Novak of Schoenbrunn Village

Dear Diary:

In the words of Jakob Novak

(Children of the Shawnee: Lies and Deceit)




My heart is heavy with concern for my best friend, Henry "Hank" Wagner. His Shawnee name was Hawk Song Watching from the Sky. He came to us over a year ago with his dead wife's body. Brother David had married the Christian Delaware, Sarah Light, to Hawk Song with hope that she would be able to convert the Shawnee to Christianity. We had heard the rumors about the brutality of the Shawnee people. They are a vicious, militaristic people. Some of us believed Sarah's life was in jeopardy the day she married Hawk Song. Others, mainly the natives, believed the Shawnee would protect her because they honor the Delaware. When Hank brought her body to Schoenbrunn, many of us believed the Shawnee had murdered her. Yet, Hank had been shot in the hip. Our physician, Betsy Schmitt, tended to his wounds. While he was recovering he informed us of the massacre and how he had tried to save his wife and unborn child. 

Hank was so heartbroken he didn't want to return to the Shawnee. He had declared he wanted to learn more about being a Christian. I was charged with being his mentor. I taught Hank how to become a blacksmith, read in German, and act with Christian morals. He even gave us his bear shaped totem that was supposed to keep him healthy. He was baptized Henry Wagner but likes to use the name Hank. Hank married Betsy. He has a new life with her and among the Moravians. Yet, now his brother, mother and stepfather have appeared at Schroenbrunn. I don't know what to think. His brother is very ill with an infection. Betsy has been attending to him but Hank doesn't want to visit upon his younger sibling. Brother David says we have to be gracious to Hank's brother because he is a Shawnee chief. I only hope whatever stands between the two men can be overcome so we might be able to Christianize the Shawnee.

Jakob Novak

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

#Ohio Native History: The First #NativeAmericans

The Shawnee nation are perhaps the most famous of all Ohio tribes but they weren't the only Native American tribal group in the area. The Great Lakes region were home to many small and large tribal groups with their own dialects and cultures. Each of the tribes had their own creation stories of how their ancestors had arrived in the region in which they lived. Oral stories were passed down from generation to generation. Cultural groups have come and gone in Ohio but they left behind archeaological and cultural evidence of their existence. In order to understand the Native American cultural heritage of Ohio we must go back in time and visit upon the tribes who once dwelt within the Buckeye State. We begin our journey during the Paleoindian Period.

The Paleoindian Period lasted from 13,000 -7,000 B.C, which was towards the end of the Late Pleistocene Period. Paleoindian life revolved around the hunting of the great animals and was greatly affected by the Ice Age. The glaciers killed the plant life which meant the herbivores had to migrate elsewhere. Thus humans and the carnivores had to move with the herds into previously unknown territories. Paleoindian groups were highly mobile. Any given band could consist of anywhere between 20-60 members, all of whom were extended family. Hunting and gathering were done during the spring and summer months when smaller hunting parties left the group. These hunting parties would return during the fall and stay throughout the winter. Their diets varied depending on how successful the hunt was. Their clothes and the covers for their shelters were made of animal skins.

The earliest known Native American group to inhabit Ohio was the Clovis Culture. The Clovis Culture appeared around 11,500 B.C. but didn't inhabit Ohio until between 9500 - 8000 B.C.  The northern glaciers retracted, exposing new land for exploration and settlement between 17,500 to 14,500 years ago. The animals and Clovis culture took advantage of the new Ohio lands. During the late 20th century, the predominant theory of human colonization of the Americas had been Clovis First, meaning the Clovis Culture were the first group to inhabit the Americas. But scientists and historians are beginning to question the Clovis First theory.

In 2011, archaeologists at the Buttermilk Creek Complex close to Salado, Texas unearthed an occupation that was proven to be older than Clovis. The Buttermilk Creek Complex isn't the only archaeological site that predates the Clovis Culture.   The following are a list of sites that predate the Clovis Culture.

Pedra Furada, Piauí, Brazil (55,000 yr BP ABOX)
Topper, (at least 22,900 yr BP; possibly 50,000 yr BP but this is disputed) South Carolina, US
Meadowcroft, Pennsylvania, US (16,000 yr BP)
Cactus Hill, Virginia, US (15,070 14C yr BP)
Monte Verde, Chile (14,800 14C yr BP)
Saltville, Virginia, US (14,510 14C yr BP)
Taima-Taima, Venezuela (14,000 yr BP)
Connley Caves, Oregon, US (13,000 yr BP)
Page-Ladson prehistory site, Florida, US (12,425 ± 32 14C yr BP [15,405–14,146 cal yr BP])
Lapa do Boquete, Brazil (12,070 ±170 14C yr BP)
Paisley Caves, Oregon, US (14,300 cal yr BP)
Tanana Valley, Alaska, US (13,000–14,000 cal yr BP)
Nenana valley, Alaska, US (12,000 yr BP)
Tibit√≥, Colombia (11,740 ±110 14C yr BP)
Tagua-Tagua, Chile (11,380 ±380 14C yr BP)


New archeological discoveries and research is starting to shed light on an earlier group of people to inhabit North American known as the Solutreans. The Solutreans were Caucasians tribes that inhabited the Americas. Ohio does not have evidence of this group because at the time of their existence Ohio was under sheets of ice. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

LTW: Child #Abuse in American Camps? #education


This week I am handing my blog over to Krystol Diggs. Mrs. Diggs wrote an interesting article in 2014 for CNN. The article was titled, Nate Orlowek: Do Not Touch!! The New Child Abuse. As an educator the topic of this article made stop and think. What do you think about this article? Post your comments below.


NATE ORLOWEK
Do Not Touch!! The New Child Abuse

Many know him as a degreed historian and leader of the John Wilkes Booth DNA project. But Nate Orlowek’s professional career of 35 years has been as a religious educator and camp head counselor. He’s one of the few camp professionals left who remembers when camp was done the “old-fashioned” way.
“There has been a drastic change in childcare, and it’s causing great harm to our children. An out-of-control hysteria called ‘risk management’ has taken over. The new way, under the guise of protecting children from abuse, is in fact causing a far more damaging kind of child abuse that is being inflicted on our children in camps and childcare settings,” Orlowek says.
Many camps are outlawing positive and innocent practices that are depriving children of the feeling of being loved and cared about that is essential to their well-being. These extreme rules are having a serious negative side effect. “The consequences of touch-deprivation are quite severe,” writes biophysicist Dr. Daniel Russell. “Since the consequences are so severe, it seems to me that we should recognize the deliberate withholding of touch as a form of abuse.”
Dr. David Cross, associate director of the Institute of Child Development declares that “just as damaging as physical abuse or sexual abuse is being deprived of normal, human healthy contact, interaction and touch.”
In the last few years, Orlowek has seen the devastating effects of these hysteria-driven edicts. At one prominent New England Jewish camp Orlowek worked at, he saw a series of incidents that shocked him. One nine-year-old boy was totally turned off to religion and proclaimed, “I don’t like any of this dumb Jewish stuff, and I’m not going to do any of it.”
When Orlowek engaged the boy in conversation, he saw that the boy simply needed someone who cared about him and was willing to interact with him. Orlowek offered to teach him all the Hebrew words to the Grace After Meals and sat next to the boy during the whole ceremony. To his astonishment, the director reprimanded him for “spending too much time with one child,” which, he was told, is frowned upon because “we live nowadays in a litigious society” and “we must not do anything that looks ‘suspicious’.”
“Is this really what it has come to?” Orlowek had thought. It’s now “suspicious” for a Jewish teacher to inspire a student to love being Jewish and for the two of them to sit together and sing their hearts out to God? The next morning the same boy announced to his prayer group that “it’s so cool to be Jewish!” All he needed,” Orlowek explains, “is someone who cared about him and made him feel important by spending time and effort to help him.”
An even more astounding incident was triggered when a camper Orlowek had counseled when the boy was in his former day camp in Maryland was at the same overnight camp and away from home for the first time.
The child was feeling homesick, and during prayer services he snuggled up to Nate for reassurance. “I was trained to respond to the emotional needs of my campers. This boy was homesick and in distress. I reassured him that everything would be okay by placing my arm around him.”
Another homesick child saw this and came over to sit on Nate’s other side. “After being in this profession for over thirty years, I knew that this other child also wanted some kind of affection and reassurance. So I placed my arm around him as well, and sure enough the director said to me, ‘You are good with kids, but you can’t do this anymore. You are a relic of the past.’” Since the rest of the staff was directed to withhold all affection, the kids became desperate for anyone who would give them what they so clearly needed. “You are the only adult in this camp who truly cares about us kids,” one of the campers told Orlowek.
The final blowup occurred a few days later when another homesick camper ran over and sat next to Orlowek at the camp’s July 4 celebration and, in a desperate attempt to receive “normal, human healthy contact, interaction and touch” picked up Orlowek’s arm and draped it around his little shoulders. Orlowek realized that he would be fired on the spot if the director would see this, but he was sick and tired of having to deprive children of something so critical to their well-being.
The boy looked up pleadingly into Orlowek’s eyes—the same look he had seen thousands of times in the past from campers expressing the desire to be allowed to sit on his lap. But that was during the “old-fashioned” times, when allowing a camper to sit on a counselor’s lap was not only permitted but encouraged.
Orlowek felt frozen into place by fear of the hysterical director and our “litigious society” and wasn’t sure what to do. Then, the boy climbed onto Nate’s lap and gave him a big hug. “I knew I had reached a defining moment. Do I violate my conscience and shatter this poor child’s feelings and sell out to the hysteria, or do I do what I’ve done my whole life—stand on the side of caring and kindness and Jewish values?
“It was no contest. I was raised to stand up for what is right. Just as my dad once faced down a racist mob to protect an innocent black man being threatened with harm, I knew on whose side I must be on. He didn’t back down or sell out. I could hear his voice saying to me: ‘Don’t break that little boy’s heart.’ But unfortunately, the advocates of the ‘new way’ don’t mind breaking little kids’ hearts.”
Within 30 seconds an angry supervisor swooped in, dragged the boy away and scolded him so fiercely that the child staggered back to the table literally unable to speak. 
In a recent blog essay titled “Camp Counselors Should Be Allowed to Hug Kids” famed child advocate Lenore Skenazy wrote: “And so we have sexualized and criminalized and crazy-ized a lovely thing that, as it turns out, is pretty darn innocent and even good for kids.
Many distressed parents wrote in and shared their reactions:
“Of course children need affection and (appropriate) physical contact. I cannot believe it's come down to such ridiculous rules. The fear-mongering media is turning our world into a paranoid, sterile and disconnected place. Children are missing out on such wonderful connections with important adults in their lives.”
“What a sad, small person it must take to deny children innocent physical contact from those who care for them. At our camp kids were hugged, sat on laps. One kid said ‘It is hard not to have fun here.’
“Perhaps the camp directors should present kids with legal documents explaining why a simple hug or sitting on their counselor’s lap is a legal offense. Maybe we should all gather ‘round the camp fire and read the documents. I'm sure the legalese would be a perfect substitute for genuine caring. “I fail to see how any of these things could possibly be detrimental; honestly, I think the level of interaction and affection (obviously non-sexual, though it seems some people are too weird to understand that) the kids at my camp get are more beneficial to them than 99% of the actual stuff we do at camp.”
“How do we tell a young camper that these natural incidents of innocent contacts aren't allowed because of 'out-of-control' fear? How do we erase the sadness in a child’s eyes when he jumps on your lap or begs for a hug and is rejected? How will we ever heal the pain in his heart?”
Being a citizen of the United States, I never knew about this new form of child abuse. I have read many stories, but this story, in particular, really peaked my interest because I used to be an educator. I thank Nate Orlowek for sharing these painful stories with me. This form of child abuse shouldn’t be tolerated. We must free ourselves from this insanity and return to providing love and warmth that all our children deserve.
To contact Nate Orlowek:
Nate Orlowek: nateorlowek@yahoo.com

Sunday, July 10, 2016

#WhatsUpWithAllison: Chasing Dreams



It's been a crazy week for me but a very productive one. Have you ever had a dream that you wanted so bad you could taste it? I have.




I started my writing career eight years ago only thinking I wanted to become an internationally known bestselling author. Seems like an easy enough goal. But as I grew in my writing skills and obtained my MFA that dream changed. I had opened my publishing house with the dream of giving back to the literary community. I wanted a safe haven for new authors to publish their work. Mountain Springs House was born. I made many naive mistakes with my business. Three years later my dream evolved into something even greater. I closed my publishing house and moved to Texas.

I am still writing. I still want to be a well known author with New York Times bestselling books. BUT....now I not only want to be that and have a publishing house. I want to write, direct and produce film. I want to do professional photography. I want to do graphic design. I want to have a company that does all of that. This week, I've opened a new company in Texas called Big Bend Productions. It has four companies underneath it. Marfa House (publishing), Castolon Studios (photography), Lost Mine Films (film), and Boquillas' Window (graphic design). I haven't launch the websites or social media for these companies yet. I'm so excited to be chasing my dreams. I plan to officially launch these companies sometime this Fall. So be on the look out.

Writing wise - I am still writing. I have a dedicated time in my day where I can work on my WIP. I'm can't wait to launch Lies and Deceit. I think you all will love the second book in the Children of the Shawnee series.

Keep chasing your dreams and never let them go.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Dear Diary: In the words of Duchess Rose Anna de Clare Arnes

Tilda Swinton as Orlando photographed
by Karl Lagerfeld for Vogue, July 1993.
Dear Diary:

In the words of 
Duchess Rose Anna de Clare Arnes

(Children of the Shawnee: Lies and Deceit)




Dear Diary, 

I have had the most dreadful of circumstances befall upon my husband and I as we made our way from France to Virginia. After everything Remy and I have gone through in France I had very much doubted our fates could have become worse. My grandfather has demanded I uphold my royal obligation to provide my husband what an heir. I have quite enjoyed the experiences. Yet, a month into our trip I became serious ill. The ship's physician told Remy that I was experiencing sea sickness. When Remy asked why it had taken so long for me to exhibit the signs of such affliction, the physician kindly informed him that the simple fact that I was King Louis' granddaughter made me susceptible to being ill in harsh conditions. My frail body simply didn't need to be subjected to such harsh conditions such as life at sea. Little did the physician know that I was adopted by the king's son ten years ago. I had been born in the backwoods of Kentucky to French duke and English countess who desired the life of savagery rather than one at their prospectus courts. 

To this day I can never understand what drew my parents to leave their noble lives and assume life in the wilderness. It had been the dangers of the wilderness that had stolen their lives from me and my twin. Sigh. My twin. I have ever so missed Calico since I assumed my place in France. What an idiot I was to leave her with the Shawnee.  Calico deserves a better life than she has with them. It has come to my attention from our English spies that General Paul Braddox has issued a warrant for Calico's arrest. Calico murdered one of his officers. I knew King George wanted Calico and I in London so we could assume our mother's place as Lady Turner. I had thought her safe as long as the English king believed she was one of his most valuable possessions. But it seems King George has grown tired of my family. He has allowed General Braddox the privilege to try and hang her (if found guilty which we all know she will be) for murder. I have to rescue my sister. The only safe place for her is in France. I only hope she will be willing to agree with me. It has been ten years since we have seen, spoken or written to each other. How much has Calico changed? Will I even recognize my own twin?

Duchess Rose Anna de Clare Arnes



Friday, July 8, 2016

#CelebratetheSmallThings: Blindness Blessings


Happy Friday! 

This week has been very busy for my family and I. I have spent the week in El Paso visiting a cousin and going to my husband's eye appointment. My husband has open ended angle glaucoma in a severe stage. 



He's been dealing with his glaucoma since 1996. He's only 53! His case is very strange. No one can figure out why he has it. There's no family history of it. He's never had a traumatic eye injury. He only became Diabetic and have High Blood Pressure years AFTER he was diagnosed with Glaucoma. 

My husband has been through three eye surgeries and had a tear duct plug placed in his left eye. He became legally blind in 2013. We've gone through the surgeries. We've worked with the Department of the Blind in Kentucky and Indiana. My husband was a nurse for 20 years but can't do that anymore. He's in school to get a Bachelor of Business Science at Walden University. Life was going great until his eyesight started to decline yet again. We had contacted the Department of Blind Services in Texas. 






They have taken his case and are helping us out. In the meantime, my husband has decided to attend Penn College while attending Walden University so he can learn to become a motorcycle repair tech. His dream is to own his own motorcycle repair shop in his hometown. 

This week, we learned my husband will have to go through two more eye surgeries. Thankfully, the shunt in the left eye and the trabulectomy in the right eye are working. He only has about 10% of the optic nerve left in his left eye. Thankfully, that hasn't declined. The doctor said he has a secondary cataract behind his artificial lens in his left eye and a cataract in his right eye she wants removed. He's going to get an artificial lens in the right eye as well. This means his cloudy vision should clear up just enough he can be independent again. I AM SO HAPPY! It can't replace the nerve damage but it can make his vision clearer. Praise God for modern technology. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

#ISWG: #Reviews, Readers and your Book. #IAmWriting


I can't believe it's the first full week of July already. This summer is just flying by so fast. This month on the Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly blog hop I want to write about properly marketing your book. I have worked as an author for eight years. In those eight years, all of my books have become Amazon bestsellers. My success didn't happen overnight. It has taken much hard work. Even now, if I don't work my books on the marketing end in person and on social media my sales will decline. So what's my secret?

REVIEWS

Reviews are like honey to readers. Think about it. If you go on Amazon to buy something don't you always check out the reviews before you buy it? I do. I'll check how many stars it has, what people are saying about the product and I always look at when the reviews are written. People look at things like that.

BUT!!!!

You have to be careful when it comes to your own reviews. There are three kinds of reviewers.

 1) You pay for reviews. NEVER EVER DO THIS! Paid reviewers are not going to give you an honest opinion of your book. Think about it. You're paying them to flaunt your book. Readers aren't stupid. They can tell when an author has paid someone to give them a review. They can also tell when the author has asked a friend or family member to review the book. You don't want any of these reviews. It will hurt your credibility as a reputable author.

2) You ask a professional reviewer to review your book. These are wonderful! You need these people. It's going to take some work on your end to get them to notice your book. Don't be scared of reviewers. They love authors. But you need to be careful when choosing the right reviewer. A reviewer should be someone who likes to read in your genre. Don't expect them to just automatically accept your book if it's not in a genre they like to read. And don't just submit your book just because they review in your genre. There are sub-genres that they may not like.

Don't submit to a reviewer who only post a review on their blog. You need a reviewer who will post
their reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and their blog. It's even better if they add Barnes and Nobles to their list and/or Kobo. The reason you want Goodreads and Amazon is because you need to build up your reviews on those sites. Most readers will go to those two sites to find books. The more exposure of the review the better. Also, ask the reviewer if you can use lines in their review for your social media pages. Yes, you want to announce and share the review if you receive a 5 star review from them.

Be sure to read their submission guidelines. Reviewers will post on their website if they are taking submissions or not. If you find the reviewer is someone you think would work well for your book and they are currently taking submissions then submit the book to the reviewed. Be certain you follow their guidelines exactly.  If you have any questions, shoot them an email. They will respond back.

It's also important to understand just because you have submitted the book doesn't mean the reviewer will read the book right away. Every reviewer has a stack of books they are going through. Don't just rely on one reviewer. I make it a habit to send three review requests out per day. Sometimes a reviewer may decline. That's ok. Just move on. You're not going to appease reader with your story. Your potential readers will read a professional book reviewers review. That carries more weight upon the reader than the third kind of reader because the reader is trusted the reviewers professional opinion. A reviewer will post in their Amazon review that they were given the book in exchange for a review.

3) The last reviewer is your readers. You have to be careful with this group. Not all your readers are there to support you. There is a creature known as a troll. So many authors have been hit by trolls. I know I have. They are almost impossible to get off you Amazon page. A troll is a person who doesn't like you and sets out to destroy your book's credibility. They will create several fake identities and post negative reviews of your book on Amazon. Sometimes, people won't read your entire book and post negative reviews.

Readers aren't stupid, they can tell when someone is a troll or haven't read the book. The key is to never reply back to the negative reviews. Readers don't like to see authors argue with the reviewers. Let your readers defend the book not you. It's not your fault if you get trolled or if the reader chose to read a book outside their preferred genre only to find they hated it.

Readers are the author's friend. Let's face it. We don't have a job without them. Readers have been known to leave wonderful review for books. You want to encourage this group as much as possible. Most readers don't understand how important reviews are for authors. Don't be scared to interact with your readers on social media and in person. Readers love it when the authors talk to them. I've had a reader leave me a wonderful review on Calico saying how much she enjoyed meeting me in person. So go ahead. Talk to your readers. Encourage them to leave a review of your book.

Monday, July 4, 2016

LTW: #Gifted Minds Can Change the World #Independence #Education


Today is a special day for Americans throughout the world. On July 4th, 1776, the newly formed United States Congress approved the final draft of the Declaration of Independence. There had been several different copies drafted. Thomas Jefferson was a profound gifted writer who could inspire people to act in ways they normally would not just by reading his words.



Thomas Jefferson wrote several drafts of the Declaration of Independence. It was signed by 56 men. These men knew the consequences of their actions. By signing the Declaration of Independence they had marked themselves as traitors of the crown, a death sentence. The video below details the many costs these men took for our freedom.



The Declaration of Independence was declared on July 2, 1776 and was passed by congress on July 4, 1776.

John Adams said on the day it was declared that it was “the most memorable epocha in the history of America.” He wasn't wrong. On July 9, 1776, General George Washington read the Declaration of Independence to the citizens of New York. Inspired by the words, the colonists tore down a nearby statue of King George III. The statue was later melted down and shaped into 42,000 musket balls that were used in the Revolutionary War. The Declaration of Independence has spurred Americans throughout history. 



What was it about the founding fathers that made them capable of inspiring others into doing something that they normally wouldn't do? We don't normally think about the consequences that the patriots could, and some did, endure due to decision to follow these brave men against the tyrannous leadership of King George. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, were just some of the gifted men who thought ahead of their times. Society didn't always understand their thinking. They didn't fall into the trap what had always been done mustn't change. They wanted to change the world so all generations could benefit from freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Great things can happen when the gifted come together in unity. The founding fathers were able to change the world because they all held one vision of hope for the future. Each man had their own special abilities. On their own, they could create great things but together they were stronger. When placed together, gifted learners can not only inspire others to see a different point of view but change the world. We, as a society, need to keep our minds open to the possibility that gifted thinkers are the agents of change that our society may need. Instead of turning down their ideas, perhaps we should listen and ponder upon them. It is this special population that can create long lasting changes that will better our community.

It's time for a change.

It's time to listen with an open mind.

It's time to accept that the gifted have a place in this world.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

What'sUpWithAllison: Patriotic #American



Happy Fourth of July!


This weekend we celebrate our national independence. This is a very special patriotic day for all Americans. The men who signed the Declaration of Independence had vowed to change our world for the better knowing that they risked being hung for treason. The brave men, such as my four ancestors, who fought in the Revolutionary War against Great Britain were risking the forced seizure of their land and property along with being hung for treason. 

The American spirit spread throughout the world after we won the Revolutionary War. Citizens bound by monarchy saw the independence Americans had gained and wanted a taste of what we had won. The French had helped us during the war. Had it not been for them we probably wouldn't have succeeded in the founding of our great nations. Six years after the Revolutionary War had ended, French citizens inspired by our freedom declared war upon the French monarchy. The French Revolution would have never happened without the United States inspirational defeat of Great Britain. 

This weekend I honor my ancestors and the spirit of independence. I believe we have forgotten just how severe the repercussions could have been for our patriot ancestors while they were fighting for their freedom. Let us never forget the sacrifice of our brave patriot ancestors. Take time to remember what your freedom cost them this weekend. And be sure to thank a vet for their service. We are free because of the brave men and women who fought for our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.