The Leafy Office

Working From Home Conundrum

It’s great working from home for many reasons. One downside is that it’s easy to get distracted when you aren’t punching a clock. When it’s May, and the weather is gorgeous, I’m sometimes wandering around the yard–not taking up projects like pulling weeds, because, I’m supposed to be working. You might find me checking out the progress of the robin sitting on the nest on the downspout or checking on the health of the plants that are new this  year.

 

Cindy Thomson's garden

My book reading angels give a hint as to what the owner does.

But am I wasting time?

Breathing in Spring

I don’t think I am, unless I give in and start pulling those weeds or painting the backyard furniture. The truth is, I have trouble thinking if I don’t take time to refresh myself. Observation is an important skill for a novelist. I need to breath the air, note the colors in nature, listen to the different bird calls. A tiny part of what I observe might make it into one novel or another. But mostly, I need to clear my head so that I can concentrate better on my story.

Cindy Thomson's window

Gazing out my window

Listening is Underrated

J. Philip Newell wrote a book I love called Listening For the Heartbeat of God. I try to do that. Every day. It’s hard, you know? But listening is the best way to pray, to learn, to write a novel.

Get Outside

I hope you do, at least for a little while. I know it’s difficult for many people who work inside, but even if it’s just walking back and forth to the car, sniff the air, look at the clouds, pay attention, and refresh your soul. (Just my tip for the day!)

Dogwood

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Win a Free Book!

I recently posted this on my Facebook page:

NEW: Enter to win your choice of one of my ‪#‎books‬. Leave a review (of any one of my books) on Amazon.com between now and May 31 and send me the link. Must send link to be entered. Facebook is not afflilated with this giveaway. Drawing will be held June 1 and winner must respond to message by June 8, 2016. US RESIDENTS ONLY. Please share. TY!

Make An Author Happy

Why I’m Asking Pretty Please

Reviews help readers find books, and mine are off the radar and could use some attention, especially my newest books. If you could help by posting a review on Amazon I would appreciate it so very much. And, you can do more by just copying your review and pasting it on other retail sites such as Barnes and Noble. Goodreads is another excellent site for readers where you can post a review.

photo: Enokson

photo: Enokson

I’m Making it Easy to Post Reviews!

And to make it super easy for you, here are some links:

My Books on Amazon

My Books on B&N

My Books on Goodreads

My Books on Fiction Finder (an excellence service by ACFW that helps readers find books where my books have almost no reviews at all!)

Post a selfie like Jaime to let others know what you're reading.

Post a selfie like Jaime did to let others know what you’re reading.

Shout It Out!

And finally, let others know about my giveaway. If you are on Twitter, click below. If you are on Facebook, share this post.

Post a review for a chance to win your choice of these books! http://bit.ly/1NTnMaN Click To Tweet

Thank you!!

Book Cover Reveal!

The Roots of Irish Wisdom: Learning From Ancient Voices

The updated, revised edition of Celtic Wisdom: Treasures From Ireland is ready!

The Roots of Irish Wisdom by Cindy Thomson

What’s New

This is a paperback edition. What’s new is a bit more added information and my own black & white photographs from my trips to Ireland. Much of the book is the same as Celtic Wisdom, just updated.

How to Buy the Book

The ebook edition is on Kindle. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can get it for free. The regular price is 4.99. Very soon the print edition will be available for 8.99. If you’d like a signed copy, contact me and we’ll make arrangements.

What’s So Special About This Book?

I’m biased, of course, but I think readers interested in Irish history and Celtic Christianity will enjoy this wee introduction to the men and women who brought the faith to Ireland, along with some thoughts on Celtic learning, prayer, and art.

What Are Others Saying

On Celtic Wisdom:

“Among the shelves of books available on the subject, Celtic Wisdom by Cindy Thomson is a wonderful distillation of the important truths and legacy of Celtic Christianity.”~John Doan, Emmy-nominated composer and premier harp guitarist, storyteller, and historian.

It’s a perfect sampler for anyone interested in learning more about the Christian faith of the Celts and how it has influenced generations.~Christina on Amazon

Make Celtic Wisdom a part of your library, but leave it on the coffee table for others to pick up and enjoy as well. Only 95 pages–small, but that actually makes it more accessible for those of us who are always too hurried to sit down to a longer scholarly work. Well researched and enlightening, Celtic Wisdom is a real treasure.~Cathi on Amazon

This book is an excellent survey but hopefully it will whet your appetite to recapture the whit, wisdom and understanding of an age long forgotten by today’s urban worries. By the time you finish reading it, you will feel the mist on your skin and the peat under your feet and see a light emanating all around you! Yet, it’s a quick read, well worth your time and energy if you are seeking a new old way of approaching God.~Martin on Amazon

Coming Soon: New Books!

Here’s what is coming soon from me:

Celtic Cross photo by Cindy ThomsonIn a few short weeks I will have the reprinted, revised, updated non-fiction book titled The Roots of Irish Wisdom: Learning From Ancient Voices. It’s a newer version of my book Celtic Wisdom, but in paperback with some new material and new black and white photographs. I think you’re going to love it! Subscribers to my newsletter (see link above or click here) will see the cover first and learn when the release date will be. Here’s a synopsis:

This collection of classic Irish wisdom in the form of stories, prayers, and proverbs, reveals the Creator in the natural world and highlights the importance of the Celtic spiritual heritage. Along with historical background on St. Patrick, St. Brigid, St. Columcille, and the Twelve Apostles of Erin, Cindy Thomson leads the reader on an enriching journey through Celtic learning and prayer.

Coming Later This Summer:

My novel, the sequel to Brigid of Ireland: Pages of Ireland. More on this to come.

Do You Love All Things Irish?

Tell me why…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

Royce Bair Ross Castle, Killarney, Ireland - an ornate 1913 St Patrick's Day greeting card illustration

Royce Bair
Ross Castle, Killarney, Ireland – an ornate 1913 St Patrick’s Day greeting card illustration

From the man himself:

I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favors and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity. For after chastisement from God, and recognizing him, our way to repay him is to exalt him and confess his wonders before every nation under heaven.

From St. Patrick’s Confession

St. Patrick’s Day Eve!

St. Patrick Hill of SlaneHow to Celebrate?

It’s a question I usually ask myself when the day rolls around. How about you? Some people (in America) go to an annual parade, pancake breakfast, listen to live music at an Irish restaurant or pub. All good choices. All things I’ve done in the past.

Some use it as an excuse to get absolutely soused. I don’t recommend that. Drunkenness has nothing to do with the patron saint of Ireland, and can even be viewed as cultural stereotyping. I know we’re in the season of Donald Trump anti-pc rhetoric, but still…

Just How Should I Celebrate St. Patrick's Day, anyway? Click To Tweet

What St. Patrick’s Day Isn’t

Its not about leprechauns, green beer, kissing people who aren’t really Irish…It’s not “Irish I Were Drunk Day.” (Please, throw away that t-shirt!) It also is not St. Patty’s Day. Maybe there is a female saint named Patty with the same day, but probably not. If you must use the shortened version, and I personally have no problem with that, use Paddy, not Patty.

What St. Patrick’s Day Is

I’ve posted lots of thoughts on this:

Here with a guest post

And here

Here

And here

My Favorite Thing to Do On St. Patrick’s Day

Put on some Irish music, maybe Cherish the Ladies, We 3 Banjo, Natalie McMaster. Cook up some Irish stew (here’s a good recipe) and READ! There are some great Irish books out there, either by Irish authors or about Ireland. Of course, I hope you’ll read mine, but leave me some recommendations in the comments, okay? And enjoy!

*Looking for some non American recipes for St. Patrick’s Day? Check out my board on Pinterest.

Brigid of Ireland by Cindy Thomson, ebook

Ebook, Book One, Daughters of Ireland

Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford, Irish books Cindy ThomsonHow the Irish Saved Civilization, top Irish books Cindy ThomsonThe Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry/Cindy Thomson Irish books

In Search of Ancient Ireland by McCaffrey and Eaton/Cindy Thomson Irish books

About Those Book Reviews

More of What Readers Need to Know

Reader

via Flickr Laury Rouzé

I posted about this before, but today I read an article in the ACFW newsletter that I think might  best help explain to readers why posting book reviews is critical to authors. I’m reposting here with permission. If you, too, think it’s helpful, please share.

Reader’s review provides at least 4 key benefits for a book and its author via @acfw & @cynthiaruchti Click To Tweet

ACFW Tidbits

by Cynthia Ruchti 

Do you write book reviews? Some say a reader’s review provides at least four key benefits for a book and its author:

1.     Credibility. When publishers, retailers, libraries, and prospective readers see a large number of reviews for a book, they know the book has drawn a measure of attention.

2.     Visibility. Algorithms of online retailers like cbd.combn.com, and amazon.com dictate that books with large numbers of positive reviews will obtain a more prominent visual presence on their sites.
3.     Quote resource. Many authors share snippets of a positive review to help others get a feel for the book’s tone, theme, or impact.
4.     Persuasiveness. Reviews can entice prospective readers, retailers, and libraries to purchase books they might have bypassed without the review.

via Flickr GotCredit

via Flickr GotCredit

If you’re a published author, you’ve no doubt seen both beneficial and what might be construed as harmful reviews. You may have asked others to post a review for your book. Have you also provided a guideline for the kind of review that would be most helpful? Consider using these tips when writing reviews or when inviting others to review a book for you:

·      For a blog or online retail review, if the teaser for the book or the book’s back cover copy is already part of the blog or book information visible to those who will read your review, there’s no need to repeat that information. An online review is not a book report. It’s a reaction to the story and its impact.

·      Resist the temptation to reveal any element about the plot or characters that will spoil the book for other readers. Few things make an author cringe more than having a reviewer give away an important plot point that took two-thirds of the book to set up.
·      Keep it as short as you can and still communicate what you need to or are compelled to say.
·      Don’t change your review in response to what others have said about the book. Be genuine. But do skim other posted reviews to ensure you’re not merely repeating what has already been said. Your review will be most meaningful if it adds another dimension to the reviews’ “discussion” about the book’s merits.
photo by denise carbonell

photo by denise carbonell

·      Limit your comments about the story to the story. If your book was damaged in shipping, or you never have liked that genre (and still don’t), or if page 211 was missing in your copy, or the margins on the Kindle version were messed up, that’s not a review of the book. Those comments need to be directed elsewhere.

·      Watch carefully for what the stars mean. Don’t inadvertently give a book a one-star rating because you think that means it’s a top-notch book, first place on your bookshelf. Take time to make sure you’re communicating accurately.
·      Don’t forget to include a review on Goodreads.comand FictionFinder.com.
Thanks to Cynthia Ruchti acfwrelations@acfw.com for allowing me to reprint this.

Ebook Sale on Grace’s Pictures!

Grace's Pictures by Cindy ThomsonMy publisher is offering the ebook version of Grace’s Pictures for just .99 for a limited time!

It’s the first book in the Ellis Island series, so if you haven’t started the series, or you missed this one, this is a great time to grab a copy.

Hurry First book in Ellis Island Series only .99! #ebookdeal http://cindyswriting.com/graces-pictures/ Click To Tweet

You can find buy links on this page: Grace’s Pictures by Cindy Thomson and also read the first chapter for free!

What Readers Don’t Know

photo by Paul Bence

photo by Paul Bence

If Readers Aren’t Authors

They may not know this stuff. It’s perfectly understandable. You read your favorite author’s books, and that’s enough, right? It might be enough, unless your favorite author is not very well known and you are hoping he or she will write more books. In that case, you as a reader can influence whether or not your favorite author keeps publishing. How? By writing reviews.How Readers Can Influence What Books Are Published. Click To Tweet

Amazon Has Rules

And most people know nothing about them. But when you think about it, it makes sense. Amazon wants to recommend books that customers are likely to purchase. A book with one or two reviews, in their opinion, is not likely to be that book. So they recommend books that others have liked. How do they know what people like? By the reviews, of course.

I recently read a blog post that sums it up very well. The author of the post, George McVey, points out some of these Amazon rules:

I bet you didn’t know that after an author gets 25 reviews on Amazon, the company begins to include them in their “Also bought” and “you might like this” lists. This increases that books visibility on Amazon and helps put the book in front of more potential readers. That helps to boost sales.

When a book gets 50 or more reviews, Amazon highlights that book for spotlight positions in its monthly newsletter. This put’s the authors book in front of literally hundreds of thousands of potential readers. This can mean a huge boost in sales for your favorite author.

photo: Enokson

photo: Enokson

More Rules

photo by Michael Stout

photo by Michael Stout

 

Also in that post, he points out something I bet you didn’t know (I didn’t either.)

…leave a well-written review…because of a new app that came out recently called “Fakespot”. This app claims to be able to tell you how many reviews of a certain book or product are fake. By that they mean not posted by customers but by friends, relatives of authors or are bought reviews. How they determine if a review is fake is based on the quality of the review.

Readers Do Read Reviews

You’ve probably read reviews before deciding to purchase a book (or other products, for that matter.) So you already know the influence reviews can have. A number of bad reviews, and you don’t purchase. But more good reviews than bad, and–this is really important–a number of honest, well-written, and complete reviews go a long way toward influencing whether or not you will buy something.

For more subway shots, please see my subway set: www.flickr.com/photos/pamhule/sets/72157623210921064/ © 2010 Jens Schott Knudsen | blog.pamhule.com

For more subway shots, please see my subway set: www.flickr.com/photos/pamhule/sets/72157623210921064/
© 2010 Jens Schott Knudsen | blog.pamhule.com

How To Make An Author Happy #readers #writers #authors Click To Tweet

If you need some pointers about how to write a review that will be helpful to your favorite writer, be sure to check out McVey’s post. And please, leave those reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and also other sites such as Barnes & Noble.

Make An Author Happy