Thank you Veterans Just Doesn’t Seem Enough

This morning I was over at my son’s Facebook page, posting a “thank you for your service.” I was scrolling down the page, seeing a few posts that are not for his mother’s eyes. When I got to a post that said, “Marjah 2010.” For those of you who don’t know me, my son was a US Marine and he was deployed to Afghanistan in early 2010. This was an extremely difficult time for me, as you can well imagine. While he was deployed I was on the internet constantly trying to glean any and all information about where he was and  honestly I just wanted to get a glimpse of his face.  

While out to lunch with a friend, I overheard a news report, announcing the Marines had staged a takeover of a little village called Marjah. The blood drained from all parts of my body, because I “knew” in my heart this is where my son would be. He had called me a week or so before, and of course he couldn’t tell me anything about where they were or what was going to happen. He sounded scared, but he tried to keep the conversation light for my sake. He started by saying, “Hey, it’s me, your Babyboy.” He went on to tell me that would be the last time he could call for a while. Little did I know, that was the last time I would hear his voice for eight weeks.

I spent countless hours pouring over everything I could get my hands on. Anything to do with “The Marjah Push.” One night after my husband had gone to bed, I was looking at pictures on the internet. A New York Times reporter and photographer were embedded with a group of Marines. I was reading more about it, when I saw what I’d been dreading to see. This reporter was with my son’s company. I let out a scream, and my husband came rushing out of the bedroom to see what the matter was. I told him this was Zane’s unit and they had pictures of the battle.

After that, I couldn’t stop myself, it was like a train wreck. I examined group shots, backsides, and profiles trying to see my son. Then while looking through the daily post of pictures I saw him. Running out of a dirt building with yellow smoke behind him. Later he would tell his grandpa details about that photo, but never to me.

A few days later, a report of a death in his unit came through. Lance Corporal Alejandro Yazzie had been killed in the line of duty. This hit me doubly hard, this young man was my son’s battle buddy, and he grew up, not far from where my parents had spent serving as missionaries on the Navajo reservation.

Someday I’ll share all of my nightmares, fears and panic I had during that time. Today this is all I can share.

Once he was back on American soil, I continued to support the troops by praying and sending letters, but I couldn’t stand to watch reports on the news or even hear about another person dying. I kept a file of all of the information I had during that time. Until today, it’s remained closed.

So, after I saw the post on my son’s page, I decided five years was probably enough time for me to get over my fears. After all, he’s home, safe and happy.

When you click and watch YouTube videos, more pop up when you finish. I made it through the one from Zane’s page, and then when the next one started… Kilo 3/6, his unit. I watched, listened and told myself, I was probably mis-remembering which unit he was in. No, I was right. This video had many of the shots that I’d seen five years ago, but after all the excitement and hard rock music died down, the second part started.

This was a much different set of pictures. There’s one with the medivac helo coming in to pick up someone that’s been injured. I can only assume Lance Corporal Yazzie. There are three Marines standing in the foreground, shielding their eyes from the dirt as the helicopter lifts up. The three are standing in a line, with their heads buried in the shoulder of the man in front of them. My son is in the front with his head down buried against a dirt wall. The music has slowed and turned more thoughtful.

The pictures are now showing tired, weary faces. War is Hell.

The Kilo 3/6 were told to prepare for a three to five day battle. They were on the front lines for five months.

This is just one story, there are thousands more. Now you can understand when I say, “Telling them thank you just doesn’t seem enough.”

V

 

Who Doesn’t Love Free Stuff?

I’ve been so busy promoting my new book, I almost forgot to tell you all something else very exciting! I’m doing another promotion here on my blog site. I’m going to be giving away free stuff!

I am trying to build my newsletter list and I want to give you free stuff, so here’s how we can both win. For every person you refer to my newsletter (who actually signs up) you will get another entry in the give-away.

The more people who use you as a reference, the more entries you get. So, if you tell two friends (or twenty) and they tell two friends, and so on… You get the picture. The goal is to get 1000 sign-ups before the end of November, and we have…. well lets just say we have a long way to go…

And the free stuff? Well it might be a free Kindle, Amazon gift card or even a Colorado get-away.  I promise it won’t be junk (writer swag). I want to give away another prize before we hit the big number just so you don’t get bored and forget what we’re trying to do here.

More info soon…. V

Countdown BEGINS #NewThrillerNOVEL

Here we go! I know you’ve all been waiting with baited breath. Wait, what does that mean exactly? “Baited breath” like you have your breath baited in order to catch your prey?  Or maybe it’s just a breath mint so you can catch your significant other’s attention.

Wait, I get so distracted!

NO! The reason for this post is to tell you all that in one week, ONE WEEK the next thriller “Dawn of My Breaking Heart” will be unleashed, or released for your consumption. I’m so excited for you all to read this next book.

Without giving away any of the plot, I’m going to tell you this is a parallel book to the first book “Cold Gray Dawn” the timeline runs simultaneous to the first book’s timeline, only with different characters. This is a stand-alone novel with twists, and turns happening for these characters as well.

7 more days!

Read on! V

Link

Wow! It seems like I just did this not too long ago. You know starting spouting off about my new book coming! I haven’t even finished marketing the first book, Cold Gray Dawn, now I’m going to start up again! #newbook, #mustread ,#kindlecountdown, #thriller,  #Dawnofmybreakingheart.

Ok, so I overdid it with the hashtags. I get carried away sometimes after my morning caffeine.

BUT I’M SO EXCITED!!! My newest book “Dawn of My Breaking Heart” is in the hands of Beta readers as we speak. It looks like I will have a release date somewhere around the middle of October. I will let you all know the exact date for sure.

Here’s an excerpt from one of my Beta readers. “I like this book, keeps me turning pages. Had to make myself stop and go to bed.”

Then I got a message this morning that said, “Woofda! Really great. I finished last night. Now I can’t read anything else for several days!”

So, I’m excited to be able to share it with all of you…. Soon! If you didn’t get a copy of the first book, that’s ok, there’s still time. Here’s the link. http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Gray-Dawn-Vickie-Knob-ebook/dp/B00LEY7MHU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411756429&sr=1-1&keywords=cold+gray+dawn

If anyone is interested in doing a review for me, let me know I can send you a Kindle copy.

Keep on keeping on!

V

 

Taking a New Look at an Old View

I just wanted to let you all know I’m working diligently on some new ideas for this blog site. I’m still writing my Christian thriller novels and marketing my books, but I’ve been thinking about changing things up a bit.

Last week the writer’s group I belong to, hosted a reading, featuring each of our works. Afterwards we had refreshments and a time for guests to ask questions, and get to know the authors.

Each of us who have been published have gone the indie author route. Although our leader was the first, we are all still figuring out the best paths along that route.

I’ve decided to make this blog a local “How to”. That doesn’t mean it won’t work for others nationally, it just means that it will help people find the local people to help them along the way.

I will list local book sellers, and book and writers groups to help you in your quest to become the best writer you can be.

 

More later, V

Announcing the 2nd Book, Giveaway Free books, etc.

Two months ago I released my new thriller, drama,  cozy mystery, “Cold Gray Dawn.” I was thrilled myself to see the free copies fly out of kindle.com.

We’ve had so many people tell us the loved the book, and can’t wait for the next one.

Well, guess what?! It’s almost done! We are in editing now and I have to say I was a little worried that I may not be able to top my first book, but my beta readers assure me that it’s every bit as good as the first.

So, “Dawn of My Breaking Heart” is due to be released in October. I’m not sure of the date yet, but I am shooting for sometime around the middle of the month.

You haven’t read the first one yet? Well, here’s your chance to win a autographed copy for yourself! Take a look at the sidebar to the right…. There in the margin is a sign-up for a free copy of the book “Cold Gray Dawn.”  This contest ends on September 15th. The winners should expect to receive their copies within two to three weeks.

Here’s an excerpt

Leah Page knows her ex-husband and his new girlfriend can be devious, but nothing can prepare her for the twisted way they try to get back at her and her new boyfriend in order to get back what they think belongs to them. They will stop at nothing to get their revenge…Even murder…..

Cold Gray Dawn is a non-stop thrill ride about one woman’s quest to make sure she lives long enough to get home and protect her family from someone whom she once called her own.

So, in exchange for all of these free copies, I only ask that you please leave me an honest review on Amazon.com.

That’s it. No pressure, just your honest opinion. I will keep you updated on who wins the contest/giveaway.

In the meantime enjoy what’s left of your summer and write on!

V

I’m In The Deep End Swimming with The BOOK Sharks.

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’m not saying I’m old, I’m just saying I’m not a newbie as far as Blogging Bloggers go. BUT And I do say a BIG BUT, I’ve never run into so much spam on a blog site before. WoW! I mean really spamosis spamity spam spam spam!

I’m not really here to complain about that, but it is troublesome. It totally detracts from my main purpose here. Which is to inform, entertain, and if necessary, insult and generally stir up some trouble.

I have to say I spend at least an hour wading through the shallow end of the pool of muck that’s filled with spam. My hubby suggested that I delete all comments, but every once in a while I come across a real live human being and I want to make sure their comments aren’t swallowed up in the slimy stinky spam.

And I digress again! Whew, now that that’s off my chest. I want to say if you are a budding, author and you are in search of that ever illusive book contract, literary agent, editor, marketing group, all or any of the above… Well, I’m here to tell you to pull on your big kid pants and hang on. I read the other day that over 3500 books are published every day. There are at least two million plus titles available on Amazon alone. That number may be on the shy side as well.

So, here’s my advice. Don’t give up…. Don’t get too discouraged, just keep at it. This is a business after all. Even if you landed that big agent and the big three or four publishing houses are beating a path to your door, you still have to be hands-on involved.

I’ve heard stories about people with agents who have found their own book deals only to have the agent take their cut. (15%). Then I read that the publishers offer you a signing deal (usually small) like $2000 -$3500. Then they turn around and ask you your marketing plan. Wow! That’s not what I was expecting.

Okay, so let’s be honest here, I would go gaga if I got called up to the majors! I would be in heaven dreaming of the interviews on the Today show. The Lifetime Movie contracts, the works. But UNTIL (not if) that happens, I’m going to have to work my buns off.

The moral to this story is DON’T STOP, DON”T GIVE IN! Never say die (and all of those other clichés you’ve heard.)

So, my wide-eyed optimistic friends… Write on! V

Okay So Why Do Writer’s Want Reviews?

Let me preface this by saying thank you. Thank you for all of you folks who’ve taken the time to read my newest book. “Cold Gray Dawn” YOU ARE AMAZING! About six weeks ago, I released my new fiction book on Amazon. I had a great weekend giveaway of 200+ books on http://www.kindle.com. I was so excited and blown away! I got messages from friends and friends of friends about how they couldn’t put the book down.

Whew! What a relief! After you put yourself out there, and ask for people to see your work, you honestly hope it’s good enough. I can’t tell you how many panic attacks I had that weekend waiting to see if anyone besides my family liked my book. Of course, I realize not everyone is going to love it. They may even hate it, that’s ok. I understand not everyone likes the same things. During all of the wonderful chaos I asked for reviews from my great fans/readers. I have to say, some of you went right to Amazon and left some glowing reviews. I do appreciate that! Then a week or so later, I gently reminded others that I would love your HONEST reviews.  I would only want the truth, nothing more, nothing less. I got a few more reviews. Thanks to all of you.

Now, the reviews have slowed to a trickle, so I asked myself why? Okay, so I understand your world doesn’t revolved around reviewing my book. (At least I hope it doesn’t). I also know that my book may not be at the top of your reading list. (Although I don’t know why) Just kidding. Then, my sweet hubby kindly pointed out to me, that maybe, just maybe it’s not as easy to figure out how to do a review on Amazon as I think. I have done several, so I forget how hard things can be if you’ve never done it before. So, after his advice, I decided to give folks step by step instructions on how to do the reviews I so crave. Also, I thought maybe I should let you know why these reviews are so so important to authors these days. (Especially indie authors).

In the new world of self-publishing and e-publishing things have changed so much that it’s unrecognizable to anyone who has ever been in the business prior to this time. People can literally write a book (booklet) in a weekend, throw it on the self-publishing website, or e-publishers and it will be available on Amazon within 12-24 hours. That’s not to say that it’s all quality stuff, in fact it’s probably just the opposite, but it is happening non the less. As a writer, this is both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. All of our books/works are thrown into the giant pot and stirred up together. Sure, they have different genres and sub-genres and so on, but you are virtually competing for customers $$$$ and time altogether.

So, in this new world, without being famous, we have to be creative to get our books noticed. You have to do the “pre-launch phase” building up excitement for your book. Then comes the actual announcement that your book is available. I gave away my book over the course of a five day period (Kindle version only). I have to say that generated some great numbers.

Then there’s the period of time that you sit and wait… Wait for reviews, sales etc.

Now, in order to get those ever-illusive sales you have to have reviews. A person only has so many facebook and twitter followers. Eventually you need other people to buy your book.

In comes the review process. In Amazon.com there is some kind of big secret formula that generates where your book will be placed/ranked etc. So…. part of that whole thing has to do with keywords, google standings and…. you guessed it, REVIEWS on Amazon.

So, that’s why reviews are so important to authors, they drive folks to your book/book sales.

I will walk you step by step to get to the place where you can get those reviews done. Now, remember, I don’t want all five star reviews (unless that’s really what you thought about the book.) I want HONEST reviews.

Okay, here goes.

1. Log into your Amazon account. Here’s the link to http://www.amazon.com/.

2. Next type in my name in the search box “Vickie Knob”. My books will then appear on the page. “Cold Gray Dawn” should be at the top. Click on the bold title.

3. There should be a bigger picture of the cover of the book. On the right under the title, right under the author name is the line with the review stars, etc. Click on that yellow line.

4. This will bring up all of the reviews the book has to this point. To the right of the customer review stats are a group of five stars. It will say add your rating. Hover your mouse over each star to decide how many stars you want to give the book.

5. Once you choose a star, it will take you to the review page. It will ask you, “Do you want to add your own review?”

6. At that point…. go for it! It might say something about a verified purchase, but you don’t have to worry about that. That’s for their stats, not the authors.

So, that’s it! Sometimes they will prompt you to do a review without all of those steps, but that’s only after you’ve been reviewing several books.

I hope that clears things up, and now you can review books to your hearts content. I know that will help my heart be content.

Thanks for EVERYTHING you do

V

 

#FREEBOOKGIVEAWAY! GOODREADS!

Howdy friends and neighbors. I’m just here for a quick second to announce another giveaway of my book, “Cold Gray Dawn.” Starting at midnight tonight and going through August 15th. You can sign up on http:/www.goodreads.com to be one of five lucky winners. You must be a member of Goodreads to enter. It’s free to sign up.  Good luck and keep your eyes open (literally) for more chances to win a free, autographed copy of the book.

I’m serious, you just never know where a chance might come (see the box next to this post).

Thanks for all of your support.

Write on, V

The Next Wave of Campaign Hype is Coming Right Up

Ha! I bet you thought I was going political on you right? Nope. I’m not talking politics (thank goodness). I’m just letting you know about my next wave of book promotion.

I have to say, our Kindle giveaway was wildly successful! (Who says people don’t like free stuff anyway?)

So, the next phase is a print copy giveaway (autographed by the author) in http://www.GoodReads.com. If you don’t belong to Goodreads, I highly recommend it. It’s like a giant book club/book store all wrapped up in one. All you have to do is sign up, rate books you’ve read and they will give you recommendations. You can also sign up for FREE books too.

So here’ s a picture of my latest book. (So you will know it when you see it.) It’s by Vickie Knob THUMBNAIL_IMAGE

Or, since you’re already here. Sign up to win one of 10 autographed copies here. The winners will be announced around the middle of August.

So, my faithful friends… Read on, Review kindly and Race out and buy more books.

Peace, V