Why I Keep My Books

The other day, I read Tim Covell’s post Books and Clutter. In it, he was commenting about an article he had read in a local publication that claimed it was okay to get rid of books.

Both the article and Tim note the trouble of getting rid of books left behind by people who die. That might be a family member or friend. One suggestion was to clean off the bookshelf before death, keeping only what is truly personally valuable.

I understand the philosophy, but I don’t agree with it. However, my opinion applies to the average person, not the extreme. The extreme being the ones who have tens of thousands of books. My view is for the average person who has less than 1,000 books, most having around 500 books.

When we cleaned out my mother’s house in 2019, I was glad I was there to save the books. Others in my family don’t give a hoot about books, so they would have thrown all of them in the trash. They care about books so little, they wouldn’t even have considered donating them. Into the trash they’d have gone without a second thought.

My mother was not the average book owner. She seldom bought books. In total, I believe there were around 40 in her house. Some were books I had written, and one was written by my daughter. A few were genealogy related with connections to our family, particularly her family in Newfoundland. One I had bought her while we were visiting her place of birth. It was locally produced, so copies were limited. I had a copy, too.

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It’s time for me to Celebrate me

That post title might sound self-centred but the fact is, I don’t celebrate me. I celebrate everyone else. Whether they write a book, have a birthday or get a new job. I stopped celebrating myself about two decades ago. It was one small thing at a time, telling myself, “It’s not that big. It really doesn’t make a difference. Anyone can do that. I’m no one special. Everyone has a birthday. What’s the big deal?”

Yup, I stopped celebrating my birthday years ago. It’s just a day. I don’t want anything, yet my family remembers. I get a cake and gifts, but if the day passed without any happy birthday wishes, cake or gifts, I wouldn’t think anything of it because, it’s only the day I was born, nothing special.

Perhaps it is because life is too busy, my children’s birthdays are more important or the world is too crazy. I don’t know how I slipped into the habit of not celebrating me. All I know is it’s wrong. I need to celebrate my birthday. I need to celebrate my accomplishments.

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Part II: Book Review: “A Sure Cure for Witchcraft” by Laura Best

This is Part II of my postings today. The first was Pagan Traditions, Witches and Beltane. It speaks about Walpurgisnacht, a day marked in A Sure Cure for Witchcraft.

“We become the thoughts we think each day,” said Alisz, one of the main characters in A Sure Cure for Witchcraft. “So think only happy thoughts…”

There is much to love about A Sure Cure for Witchcraft by Laura Best, but this line echoes what I have believed for many years. It walks along side, “Where you place your attention is where you place your energy.”

If one believed in magic, they’d understand how powerful our thoughts are. This is stressed in the novel and can be understood in real time by the power of the placebo. Given my attraction to magic and energy and my use of it in my fantasy novels, I was interested in seeing how these would play out in Best’s story.

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Part I: Pagan Traditions, Witches and Beltane

Today is a two-part day. I’ve never done this before, so let’s have a go at it. Below is the first post of the day. It will be followed three hours later (because three is a significant number) with Book Review: “A Sure Cure for Witchcraft” by Laura Best.

I’m posting the review for A Sure Cure for Witchcraft by Laura Best today because today is Walpurgisnacht, also known a Walpurgis Night and Burning of Witches. You’ll have to read the book to learn the significance.

While many sources claim information about this day, we truly don’t know when it started nor what it was all about. We have the impressions of what writers have provided over the centuries but as we know, everyone forms their own impression on an event depending on what they’ve read, people they’ve spoken to and what they’ve seen. Walpurgisnacht was so long ago, anyone who experienced the first inkling of the day is mere dust in the wind.

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Author Interview: Laura Best – “A Sure Cure for Witchcraft”

Author Laura Best

My guest today is Nova Scotia author Laura Best. Her latest novel, A Sure Cure for Witchcraft, was published by Nimbus Publishing Limited in August of 2021.

1. In a few sentences, tell us what A Sure Cure for Witchcraft is about.

It’s the story of two soul friends who become separated through time and their journey back to one another in present day. It is the story of hope and healing and a world filled with superstitions.

2. Every novel written involves a little research by the author. However, while reading A Sure Cure for Witchcraft, I was constantly thinking of the amount of research that must have gone into this story. While some authors might try to make up a lot with regard to the plants and their medicinal properties because most readers won’t know the difference between mugwort and feverfew, there are other readers like me who do know and who will search their herb books to see how accurate the information is, and, in some cases, add the herb to our garden for the sole purpose of using it medicinally.

Having studied herbs and medicinal remedies for some time, I have to ask: How much research did you do on plants and their medicinal properties for the book? Was it just enough for the story? Or did you get lost for hours discovering the wonderful things a plant can do?

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“Fluid of Life” Proof Arrives

It was a busy morning so when I heard a knock on the door, I wondered who was interrupting me in getting things done. Oh! A delivery driver. I remembered the proof for Fluid of Life was supposed to arrive today, but I had forgotten until I heard the knock.

Getting the first copy of any book is always exciting. I dropped what I was doing, opened the package and examined the book.

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Looking for Reviews for “Fluid of Life”

I announced earlier on this blog that I’m releasing my first non-fiction book, one under my given name: Diana Tibert. As launch day approaches, I’m hoping to have a few reviews ready to go either to be placed on Amazon when the book is launched or on its Goodreads page (which I have created yet, but will).

Fluid of Life is my experience with anemia. I never had a blood test until I was 29, yet I believe I was anemic since my mid-teens. Anemia is not life-threatening… unless it goes unmonitored and it lasts for decades. I didn’t know that until a friend ended up in hospital for treatment. Then I understood living with anemia wasn’t an option. I had to start living with the amount of blood my body needed to survive and thrive.

I’m looking for women age 25 and up. Why set the bar so young? I wish I had known this in my 20s, so I could have better monitored my blood and so I could have taken action sooner.

Why women? Because women have a unique relationship with blood. Our menstrual cycle draws blood from us monthly and if we don’t watch it, we could be down before we know it.

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My First Nonfiction Book: “Fluid of Life”

I’ve published many fiction books under my pen name and I’ve had countless nonfiction articles published in newspapers and magazines under my given name, but I’ve never had a nonfiction book published. Until this spring.

I have many nonfiction books in the works, but the first to see light will be Fluid of LifeWhat doctors never told me about my blood. I wouldn’t call it a memoir. I’m sharing my experience of living with anemia, and I hope to provide information to others inflicted with the same condition, information doctors never told me. This is the information I would have loved to have had in my 20s.

I’ll talk more about the book as launch day approaches. Here’s a clip from it.

Fluid of Life by Diana Tibert

I WAS A healthy child and teen, so my parents saw no need to take me to the doctor’s office for a check-up. We didn’t go unless there was a problem. After all, it cost money to visit a doctor back then, and we were poor. The two dollar-service fee could buy a lot of food in the 60s and 70s and with 12 mouths to feed, every penny was needed.

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Amazon Publishing Tip: Author Name

When  you publish your book on Amazon, be extremely careful with your author name. Be certain of the name you want to use before you publish your first book. Don’t use a slightly different name for your second book.

When you complete the details of the book during the publishing process, enter the name exactly as you want to use it for the rest of your publishing career. While you can jump through hoops and spend time discussing the matter of changing it with Amazon, save yourself the hassle and do it right the first time.

When I say enter the name exactly, I mean exactly. Understand that Amazon sees your name as it would a file name. Diane McGyver is not the same person as Diane Lynn McGyver or Diane L. McGyver or Diane L McGyver or Dr. Diane McGyver. No, I’m not a doctor. I’m using this as an example.

When you use exactly the same name, the computers at Amazon automatically link your books and create an author page with your author biography and a list of your books. Readers will find all your stuff in one location.

Amazon will not link Diane McGyver with Diane L McGyver. Readers will click on Diane McGyver and see books only published by her, not Diane L. McGyver.

If you make a mistake or tweak your name, you cannot change it in the detailed information. It, like your title, is permanent. Unless you go through the hassle of explaining the situation to Amazon and hoping they will understand and change it.

The easiest thing to do is use the same name from the start.

Author Interview: Sandy Totten

During the process of publishing The One We Forgot to Love, I interviewed Sandy Totten about her first novel. Here’s what she had to say.

1. What inspired you to write The One We Forgot to Love?

I have always wanted to write a novel, and I find my best writing comes from personal stories and emotions I have felt in my lifetime. The family in the story mirrors my family in some ways, and I wanted to share a story with others that lets people know they are never truly alone in their struggles.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to understand?

I think there are different messages throughout the story that readers will relate to. One message I really wanted to convey is that you are never truly alone despite how you may feel. There is always someone who cares for you and is willing to help you. There is no shame in needing help.

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Book Review: “The One We Forgot to Love” by Sandy Totten

The One We Forgot to Love by Sandy Totten was written from the perspective of a mother who watched one of her children suffer with a silent enemy. While this is a fictional story, like all writers, Totten injects real-life experiences into it.

The members of the family – Addie, Dexter, Seri and Ivy – tell their version of events, and all four perspectives intertwine to give readers an excellent view of the big picture. Readers are left knowing more than the characters of how relationships can suffer when communication breaks down.

After a few chapters, you might think you know the full scope of the problem, but Totten weaves in hints throughout to provide a different view of family members that will change your mind. The ending was a twist I hadn’t expected.

What else does it contain? Hockey. The family is a hockey family, and Dexter coaches his two daughters in the game of their life.

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Kindle Create Issues

On April 1st, I wrote a post about using Kindle Create for the first time. You can read it here: Using Kindle Create to Create eBooks.

The first eBook I formatted with Kindle Create came out exactly as I thought it would. At all stages, the formatting was what I made it to be. There were no surprises. I even bought the eBook as a customer would and opened it with my Kindle App for laptops. All was well.

Yesterday, I used the program to format the eBook for The One We Forgot to Love by Sandy Totten. She hired me to create it and while I could have manually made the eBook, I decided to use the program because it had a few features that made formatting easier and the text more pleasing to the eye.

One benefit of using this program is, the eBook is live within hours, not days. In truth, I usually see an eBook live within 24 hours, but I think it can take up to 72 hours.

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Business with Small Presses

In an effort to grow my Quarter Castle Publishing business and publish books by more authors, I’m looking for help from authors who have been published by small presses. I want to be fair to authors while still being able to operate a successful publishing company that can expand and stand on its own two feet without government assistance.

I have never received nor will I ever request any money from government sources to publish books. You’ve seen those little notes of acknowledgement in the front of books, where publishing companies thank the government for funding. Getting  money from government means following their rules and fitting into their mould. Government money always comes with strings, and I don’t want them.

As more manuscripts arrive in the proverbial ‘slush’ pile and my assistant and I review them, I’m thinking about contracts, treating these authors with respect and wondering how their stories will perform.

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Using Kindle Create to Create eBooks

Let’s allow our minds to go drifting down that dusty road to years past when Kindle and CreateSpace worked together. One need only create a paperback book at CreateSpace, click a few buttons and allow Kindle to transform that paperback into an eBook.

Many writers took advantage of that, and the eBooks created by this ‘transformation machine’ did a decent job.

However, the control freak in me couldn’t relinquish control of such an import factor in my life, so I manually created each eBook I published.

Things have changed, and so has Kindle KDP/Amazon. Gone is CreateSpace and its clunky transformation machine. Now we have KDP Print and Kindle Create.

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“The One We Forgot to Love”

This afternoon, I met with local author, Sandy Totten. She contacted me the last week of January about her book, The One We Forgot to Love and hired me to walk her through the steps of publishing it. I also edited the manuscript and designed the cover and interior.

The proof arrived from Amazon yesterday (Tuesday), so we got together to discuss it. She had ordered the book last Wednesday. That is the fastest delivery time I’ve ever seen with KDP Print. CreateSpace used to be this fast, but I thought that luxury was gone when KDP Print took over. I was wrong. At least for this shipment.

The One We Forgot to Love Description

Will a mother’s love save her family or destroy it?

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