"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Sunday, July 29, 2012

We're Expanding!

I am crazy excited about this. I've gone on numerous times and talked about my job as the Head of Editing Services for the Kindle All-Stars organization, but nothing makes me happier than to say that we've built up enough of the business end to warrant pulling in a few associate editors to carry some of the workload. The details are below.

Reliable, Affordable, Invaluable
  • Suffering from one-star reviews?
  • Readers complaining that your book was not proofread?
  • High rate of return?
The single biggest complaint authors receive from readers is that their books are not properly edited. Let the Kindle All-Stars turn your book into the professional product it needs to be in order to compete. 
There is a glut of free books on Amazon right now, as well as .99 wonders that are leaving readers confused and desperate for quality reads. The simple fact is that if your book has not been professionally edited, it is not ready for publication. 
  • What About the Cost?
Of all the investments you should make in your book, editing is the most important. There are multiple services out there that provide varying qualities and costs, but at the KAS we offer a pre-arranged fixed price and a proven track record.  
KAS editors will help your individual voice to shine through during the initial draft and provide a final proofread to make sure your book is publication-ready.
Contact Laurie Laliberte at KindleAllStars@gmail.com today to take the first step toward making your book a best-seller.   
For a current list of books edited by the Kindle All-Stars, see below.

Laurie Laliberte is the Head of Editing Services for the KAS. Read her essays about Editing to get a better idea of what to expect here and here.


By Tony Healey:
"Burial" (Mar 2012) -- edit, proofread
"Dark Orb" (April 20112) -- edit, proofread
The Stars My Redemption (May 2012) -- edit, proofread
Double Feature (June 2012) -- edit, proofread
tutti frutti (July 2012) -- edit, proofread
Far From Home: Legend -- edit, proofread still in progress

By David Hulegaard:
"The Night Shift" (Jan 2012) -- edit, proofread

By Kindle All-Stars:
Resistance Front (Dec 2011) -- edit, proofread

By Laurie Laliberte 
"Fear of the Dark" (Apr 2012) -- edit, proofread
Quick Crochet for Kitchen and Bath (June 2012) -- edit, proofread
Strange Kisses (June 2012) -- edit, proofread

By Jon F. Merz:
Zombie Ryu (July 2012) -- proofread

By Shaina Richmond:
Safe With Me: Complete Collection -- edit, proofread still in progress

By Richard Roberts:
Wild Children, first edition (Oct 2011) -- final proofread

By Bernard Schaffer:
Guns of Seneca 6 (Oct 2011) -- proofread, minor editing
Ancient Rituals (Jan 2012) -- edit, proofread
Superbia (Jan 2012) -- edit, proofread
Codename: Omega (March 2012) -- edit, proofread
Superbia 2 (March 2012) -- edit, proofread
Simple E-book Formatting (May 2012) -- proofread
Magnificent Guns of Seneca 6 (July 2012) -- edit, proofread

By Susan Smith-Josephy:
Two as-yet unnamed short story collections -- edit, proofread still inprogress

By William Vitka:
Infected (coming soon) -- proofread, minor edits
Emergence -- edit, in progress

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Apologies (Pictures Coming Soon)

I have tried... and tried... and tried... But I can't get this doggone hat pattern to work. So I've had to switch gears and settle for Plan B. I promise not to give up and to have a hat pattern for you as soon as possible.

I think these coasters would make an adorable hostess gift any time of year. I see them made in sets of four or six and tied with a pretty ribbon befitting the season or complementing the colors you choose. They're also a terrific way to use up some scrap or stash yarn. Each one requires so little yarn, in fact, that you could easily get a set of six out of one (2 oz.) ball of cotton yarn.

I'll have a better shot for you soon, but until then...

The Blog Collection
Coaster Pattern
by Laurie Laliberte Designs

A full set of these little lovelies makes a great hostess gift.
Use them to protect furniture from heat, cold, and wet.

Finished Measurements:

approximately 4” x 4”

Supplies Needed:

size G-6 (4.0mm) crochet hook
small amount of worsted weight cotton yarn
smaller hook or yarn needle for weaving in ends

All instructions use American terminology.


Note:  Each row is 15 sts across

ch 16

Row 1:  sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across

Row 2:  ch 1 (does not count as 1st st here or in following rows), sc in each st across

Row 3:  ch 1, sc in back loop only of each st across

Row 4:  ch 1, sc in front loop only of each st across

Row 5:  ch 1, sc in back loop only of 1st st, [dc in back loop only of next st, sc in back loop only of next st] across

Row 6:  ch 1, dc in front loop only of 1st st, [sc in front loop only of next st, dc in front loop only of next st] across

Row 7:  repeat Row 5

Row 8:  repeat Row 6

Row 9:  repeat Row 5

Row 10:  ch 1, sc in front loop only of each st across

Row 11:  ch 1, sc in back loop only of each st across

Row 12:  repeat Row 10

Row 13:  ch 1, sc in each st across

Finishing Round:

sc evenly around all sides working 3sc in each corner

Optional Hanging Loop:

ch 10, join w/sl st in last sc, sl st in each ch of ch 10 loop, join w/sl st in last sc

finish off, weave in ends.

Happy Christmas in July!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bonus Post

In keeping with the tradition I began last year, I have a Christmas in July surprise planned, but the 25th falls on a Wednesday this year. Soooo... I thought I'd give you a review of a great book I read recently. You know, just to tide you over.

I've been singing Jon F. Merz's praises ad nauseam for a while now. Get over it. There are just certain authors I believe deserve it. Bernard Schaffer's another one... And William Vitka... Tony Healey... Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, Merz.

Anyhow, if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that Jon's one of my favorite authors because of his Lawson vampire series. Well, his latest is about zombies and it's awesome. What truly pushes it over the top for me is that it's got a badass female main character and it's aimed at the young adult market. It's like a trifecta of fiction goodness.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, it's a serial, so you'll see more. But that's good. Because you'll want to. (I knew I shouldn't have had Mountain Dew with dinner.)

So after you take a look at the cover art, read my official Amazon review then get your butt over there and download it. Or go to Kobo... Or Barnes & Noble... Or Smashwords... You get the point.

I feel very lucky because I got to enjoy this first installment of Zombie Ryu before its publication. I was already a fan of Jon's writing and I'm very pleased to say that this piece stands up to the quality his fans have come to expect.

His existing fans will enjoy this book, most likely the entire series, just as much as they enjoy his Lawson adventures. However, with its strong female main character in a male-dominated world, Jon Merz's latest creation provides an excellent reason for young adults to read.

Immediately, the reader is immersed in the story and drawn from one minor adventure to the next in epic fashion reminiscent of Tolkein. But that is not what impressed me the most.

What really captivated me as I read is the beautiful style Merz brings to everything he writes with a shift in voice that suits each micro-genre individually. It's easy to recognize this as Jon's work, but this is by no means a Lawson adventure. At no point was I expecting my favorite Bostonian vampire to come bursting onto the scene and save the day.

Zombie Ryu deserves every one of its five stars.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Suicide and Writers

Hey all! It's been a crazy week so I'm way late with this week's post. In fact, I don't have a post. I really tried to be okay with skipping a week, but the guilt was killing me. AND I know that can be a slippery slope.

That said, I still don't have an original idea for you this week, but I just read this fabulous blog post from Logophilius. You can read it here. It's writer-centric, but I believe anyone will get a kick out of it.

I will be back next week. I promise.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

It's All in How You Phrase It

I have been writing a lot lately. A LOT. To most people that means fiction. To me that means quite a bit more. This is why, when asked, I'm more likely to refer to myself as a writer rather than an author. I realize it's a fine distinction, but there's a difference. Truth be told, I'm both.

Most people call anyone who writes, not just writes for a living, but anyone who writes, a "writer." To be considered an "author," one must publish. I have. Not only have I published, I've been published. Ah, semantics again. Heh.

When I say, "I've been published," I mean someone else has taken my work, honed it, and chosen to publish it. When I say, "I have published," I mean I have taken my own work, honed it, and self-published. I am an author.

But more than that, I am a writer. I've spent the past few weeks writing like a mad woman because I know this window of opportunity will soon close for me. You see, I love to write. I do it for the love of the craft. And I write many things in may ways, both fiction and nonfiction. I take advantage of these open windows to write more than just publish.

You see, the editing is what pays. For me. So I write with all the pleasure that a hobby brings. And my writing is never a chore. Even when I'm wide awake at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning knowing that I need to post a blog entry within an hour or miss my own deadline.

So what have I been writing you ask? In the past month I have written no fewer than six guest blogs (including one that was actually just a Q and A interview). I've written my own blog weekly for my faithful followers, but that's a given.

And here's the curve ball:  I've been pattern writing again.

I hadn't designed and written new patterns since last October. However, I've completed a pattern for a coaster, and mostly written a pattern for a pinwheel-style handbag. I've also roughed out the patterns for two other bags and yes, the coveted Big Girl Beanie (finally).

Don't get me wrong, I've also been writing fiction. Writing with the intent of publishing. I currently have two groups of stories waiting to be honed, and built upon, and finessed. They will need to wait a little while. They'll sit and rest until another window opens and I find time in my schedule between edits to finish them. They are patient. They will wait. And I will find them again. I will embrace them again. Perhaps I will even finish them. Next time.

Oh, by the way, the Big Girl Beanie will be the free pattern for Christmas in July. So long as I can perfect it by then. Wish me luck! Until then you get a teaser. The photos for this post are the prototypes of the Big Girl Coasters and the Big Girl Pinwheel Bag (in progress).