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Archive for the ‘Publishing a novel’ Category

Do You Review? Micki Does!

canstockphoto11687088I do a lot of my purchasing online these days, primarily because I can read other customers’ experiences. When people take the time to not just “like” something but to explain why,  I’m more confident that it will (or won’t) interest me. I bet you feel the same way. But do you reciprocate?

Micki does!

Writing reviews of books or any product can be time-consuming, forcing us to draw on our creative side which already is overworked or may have been dormant so long we’re not sure it still works. So why not just let others do it; after all, there are people who get paid to do this.

But do we always believe or agree with the professional reviewers? Think about the movie reviews you’ve read recently… Most of us would rather access reviews of people who are similar to us, people we can identify with. But those people are busy doing some of the same thing we do, like my colleague, Micki.

Micki on Pinterest  Micki Peluso is a published author who still does all the things a wife, mother, grandmother, student and instructor (without the formal titles), friend and  involved citizen does. Yet she has written 56 book reviews–her most recent being a review of my novel (for which I’m extremely grateful!) Her gift to readers, freely given to those of us who rely on reviews for our own buying decisions, has become a personal call to action.  Taking the time to write a review of my own purchases–whether books or any other necessary object–is a gift to people I may never meet, whether creators or potential buyers. Yet it’s proof that, like Micki, I am interested in others!

I’m concluding my plea for all of us to post more reviews with this link to examples of Micki’s reviews: Micki Peluso’s book reviews (including mine!)  To entice you to go there, here’s the final lines from her review of Pieces of You.

A Book That Speaks to the Soul, February 8, 2013
This review is from: Pieces of You (Paperback)

Author J. F. Elferdink writes a remarkable compelling story which will linger in the minds of the reader, perhaps forever. It might entice or scare readers, helping to redefine their lives, examine their actions and the motives behind them. It is not a work that one can just read and put down without in-depth personal contemplation. This is a book that speaks to the soul.

When and where is the last review you’ve written?

Who Are We Killing in Wars?

I used “The Killing Zone” for some of my research on the Vietnam War, one of the turning points of my protagonist. In his book, Frederick Downs recounts:

‘A man pointed to the hook sticking out of my left sleeve and said:

“Get that in Vietnam?”
When I affirmed his guess, he replied.
“Serves you right.”
Of one thing I am certain; none of the men I knew who served in Vietnam deserved to die or to be maime
d, either physically or mentally.’

Downs said that, twenty years later, when he returned to Vietnam for the first time since the war, he recognized the hatred he had held onto all these years for the ‘dinks’ was for “an enemy less than human” but, suddenly, he knew better. He recognized a reflection of himself in the natures of a Vietnamese man and his son.

So true! Here’s my perception as I wrote it in Pieces of You:

I wake each day waiting for him to call to me. Then I remember that he was put in a box and the box was covered with dirt. You know, Ban, it hurts more than when the mule stepped on my foot last year. This pain is in my heart. It must have broken into more pieces than my foot.”

Now tears were pouring down the boy’s cheeks and he began to wail, a sound that pierced the invisible listener’s soul. (more…)

“Pieces of You” has just been published

After almost five years in process, my first novel is now published!

Please let me know if this video trailer entices you to read Pieces of You (currently available in Kindle eBook format at “Pieces of You” Kindle eBook at Amazon.com and coming soon in paperback.

Why would he (or she) leave just when you needed him most?

This is a question I asked myself after my lover died in 2007.   I found a possible answer as I wrote my first novel, Pieces of You. Here is an excerpt that will give you a clue…and may answer the question for you, too:

“My darling, Mark, you’re here for my birthday! My prayers have been answered! I have missed you so. There were moments when I thought I’d never see you again.”

She had to pause and just drink in his appearance.

“You look wonderful to these starved eyes. Handsome and radiating health!”

Mark was gazing at her with undisguised adoration.

“I’ve never felt better or more peaceful. Just seeing you sets off surges of indescribable pleasure! Let me just hold you. I’ve longed for this; to press your body into mine and taste the sweetness of your mouth.”

All the questions in her mind were overridden by the insistence of her body, but the seating arrangement took over where her will power had left off. By the way Mark looked intently at her and then into the distance, she could tell that there was something he was struggling to share.

While Janie speculated about a poetic speech, Mark beseeched heaven for words that would make her understand.

Looking into her eyes while gently stroking her cheek and neck, he began:

“My dear one, my bride; are you still committed to being my final partner?” (more…)

“You can’t judge a book by its cover”–or can you?

cover for “Pieces of You”

This is my proposed cover for my novel. Can you tell what the book will reveal by its cover?

P. S. I plan to make Pieces of You available through Amazon soon, so please don’t put off giving me your honest feedback.

Joyce (J. F. Elferdink)





Help for Aspiring Authors

Surviving the Novel Experience, a 2001 Best Reference Book from the Independent E-Book Awards, is a gift of invaluable advice for aspiring authors!

It’s an older edition but most of the information is highly relevant in 2011. Permission to post the book as a learning lesson was granted through a wonderful editor, Karen McLeod, who has worked with the authors (and edited my manuscript). For more about Karen and her work, please go to MacLeod Workshops.

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