Book Review: A Twist of Truth by Diane Dickson

I’ve become quite a fan of author Diane Dickson and read many of her other books and Twist of Truth doesn’t disappoint.

In the opening, we meet Simon Fulton, a man recently released from prison for the murder of his own sister. He is filled with resentment and bitterness because he has spent years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Returning to his home town, he is ripe for revenge and justice.

But avenging the injustice of his situation isn’t nearly as black and white as he believes. And though he encounters plenty of antagonist people from his past who are not happy to see him back home, it’s his encounter with Gloria, owner of the local B&B, who has the most impact on him. Her kindness and compassion begins to change him and his plans shift.

What begins as an instinctual desire for revenge becomes a search for the truth and the possible promise of an actual future. However, the truth has some thorns of its own and the twist at the end turns everything on its head.

If you like good, solid mysteries that don’t need spewing viscera and car chases every two seconds, you’ll like this. Highly recommend. Five stars.


Something New & Creepy

In the Wrong Mind – Psychological Horror Short Story

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean you’re wrong…

Kathy is jumping at shadows and scaring old ladies walking their dogs. She hasn’t slept for weeks and her nerves are raw. How had things gotten so out of control? Of all the people in the world, why her? All she wants is to go back to her ordinary life where she isn’t afraid to answer her door or pick up her phone. Where she isn’t someone’s prey.

Will she stand up to the woman who torments her? Can she muster the nerve to fight back and regain her life? And how far will she go to finally find peace again?

In the Wrong Mind is psychological horror story written in the tradition of the Twilight Zone. If you like stories with unexpected twists and a subtle creep factor, then this short story is for you.

Available at Amazon – U.S.  Canada  UK  Australia  India


What to blog about for your business blog

If you have a business blog, you must have content. If you blog regularly, you have a better chance of coming up in the search engines as well as connecting with your public.

But coming up with fresh topics that will interest your public can be a challenge.

Following are a few suggestions that may give you some ideas on what to blog about for your business blog:

Trends in related industries. For example if you sell baby products you may want to cull the news for articles relating to child safety, crib safety, children’s allergies then write a post making relevant commentary.

Current news. Check the headlines, newspapers, your favorite news sites, or even your Face book feed for any current story that may relate to your field and product. For example, if you sell skin care products and you see an article that talks about trends in skin cancer treatment or prevention. You can site the article then write a list post, with tips on how to protect your skin from too much sun exposure.

Statistics. The U.S. government (as well as private groups) is always doing studies and they have statistics for just about everything. Whatever field your product relates to you can find statistics for and turn into a post. For example, you sell a hands-free cell phone holder for cars. You could look up stats on texting and accidents, cell phones and accidents and create a list post with tips on how to use the phone and drive safely.

TV, Movies and Books. If you’re clever and have a sense of adventure, you can also tap pop culture and do a tie in to your product. For example, a movie that involves dogs could tie into your pet care/accessory products. Do a review that is entertaining, perhaps even mention that your dog product might have helped the pooch in a specific scene.

Short and sweet with a take-away

Although news sites, personal blogs, artist’s blogs and so forth may write long posts – businesses should keep their blog posts short and sweet. The idea is that you want to give some kind of value that will be helpful to your public and has some sort of take-away. Whether it’s tips, increased awareness of risks, coming trends, safety or even a laugh, your reader has to feel like it was worth reading.

Readers do not respond to selling disguised as a blog post. In fact, if you try to sell someone something, you will face immediate resistance. But if you can provide information and/or entertainment that the reader likes, they will probably want to check you and your products out further. In blog posts and other social media venues hard-sell never works. It’s more about connection and interaction.

So, make it short and sweet, give them something for their time and build up some rapport – you’ll find that eventually, they’ll decide to buy from you without your having to ask.



Indie Spotlight on Fantasy Author Patricia Bossano

Patricia Bossano’s Faerie Legacy Series blends fantasy with realism, inviting young adult and adult readers to explore the powerful magic within. Wander into Faerie and meet the heroines in the 200-year saga of a hybrid faery-human family. The ties that bind them, despite the conflict between two realms, will touch your heart. 


Candid Confession of an Indie Author

“Bet on yourself” and “Go after your dreams” are inspiring mantras one hears hundreds of times—I’ve certainly echoed them enough over the years, although I didn’t truly live by them, until 2016.

My name is Patricia Bossano and I’m an independent author of Fantasy novels. I recently completed the 3rd installment in my Faerie Legacy series, which has been 22 years in the making. You’ll probably think, boy, what a slow writer she is! but in my defense, between 1996, when I wrote the first draft of Book I, and 2017 when I launched Book III, I raised my two children, worked as a Spanish instructor, translator & interpreter, carved a career in International Sales Operations, got divorced, lost my father to cancer, relocated my mother from South America to California, and then . . . more distress.

I had just turned 50, I was on my way to financial recovery after my 23-year marriage ended, and I’d even started glimpsing a retirement plan when, in 2016, I lost my corporate job along with the stability it afforded me.

Feeling metaphysically cornered, I paused and took a panicked look at myself.

What first came to mind was my love of the written language, which began in the 4th grade, and had grown from scribbling journals to writing letters, short stories, and eventually two full length novels.

I saw my heart’s desire had been in a back burner while I focused on family and worked real jobs.

No regrets though, only the shiver of anticipation—Do I hurry up and find my next corporate job? Or, Do I dare bet on myself and go after my dreams?

Right on cue, the words of a seer came back to me from months before: Holding Book II of my series in his hands, without having read it, he said, “The Faery Realm is destroyed in this book!” which is true, and then he proceeded to explain; “The women in your family, on your mother’s side, were guardians of a forest (faeries) in ages past. The stories in your books are not fiction, they’re subconscious recollections from long ago.”

That was the nudge I needed. I became convinced that the time was ripe for elemental, female magic to make an entrance. I told myself it is never too late to believe!

I’m a hybrid faery, and I BELIEVE in faeries! There—I said it!

I took the proverbial leap of faith. I sold the only house I ever bought on my own, transplanted myself back to California, and went after my dream of becoming a full time starving artist—I mean, writer!

I persevere daily, even when it feels like I’m the only one who believes in me. I’m doing anything and everything to get my faeries in the universe’s radar.

My dream of sharing the magic of my stories with worldwide audiences is foremost on my mind, and it is buoyed by any triumph, however small, along the way.

Patricia Bossano is the award-winning author of the Faerie Legacy Series: Faery Sight, Cradle Gift and Nahia, and other tales. Patricia lives in Southern California with her family.  If you’d like to know more about Patricia you can visit her website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Indie Spotlight on Non-Fiction Author, David Kadavy

indie spotlight

You can feel it. You know you have something to offer the world. Something nobody else has. But how do you find the courage to make it real? You’ve heard the advice “just get started.” But it’s easier said than done. You don’t have the time, or you don’t feel like you’re ready. The Heart to Start will help you systematically break down resistance to start writing your book, and to find the momentum finish it. Buy it on Amazon, on Kindle, paperback, or Audible audiobook.




Your Book Launch Doesn’t Have to Kill You

As I reviewed my launch plan for my book, I could feel every muscle in my body tense up. It seemed there was no way I could pull this off. It didn’t help that Christmas was coming.

It would take several weeks for a Createspace proof to arrive at my home in Colombia. It would take two weeks for ACX to approve my audiobook to be sold on Audible and iBooks. It would take many hours to record and master the audio for the audiobook.

Then there was the marketing. As a podcast host myself, I knew that if I wanted to appear on podcasts during a given time-frame, I’d better be pitching up to six months in advance. And guest posts like this one also take time to coordinate and write.

It started to make sense why traditional publishers take a year just to prepare for a launch. There’s a lot of work to be done, and much of it still moves slowly.

How could I possibly do this all at once? It had been two years since I decided I was going to write another book. I pictured being at a family gathering for Christmas – now only a few months away – and sheepishly explaining once again that my new book still wasn’t finished.

I needed a book launch that wouldn’t kill me.

I got lucky with my first book. I wrote the right blog post on the right subject at the right time, and a book deal fell in my lap. My publisher took care of layout and cover design, and getting books into stores all over the world.

So, I was free to concentrate on my launch. It worked. My first book, Design for Hackers, debuted in the top twenty on Amazon.

But this time was different. I had spent almost two years trying to get a book deal. Sometimes I felt like a failure, but I eventually learned that self-publishing was more my style.

Many things are different about self-publishing, so maybe the launch is different, too. Maybe your self-published book launch doesn’t have to kill you.

There are reasons book launches are so do-or-die in traditional publishing:

  • Best-seller lists. They’re all about sales velocity. How many books can you sell in a small amount of time?
  • Human resources. It’s more efficient for publishing professionals to work on one launch at a time, rather than diluting efforts among all of their books.
  • Print runs. If a publisher has invested thousands of dollars on a first print run, they want to recoup that expense as quickly as possible.

My incentives as a self-publisher were different:

  • No best-seller lists. I wasn’t trying to publish a NYT best-seller (nor WSJ nor USA Today).
  • One-person human resources. I’m only one person. While I have all of the skills needed for self-publishing, I can only do one thing at a time.
  • No print run. I didn’t have to invest on a print run up-front. Kindle costs nothing, and Createspace is print-on-demand.

Plus, my morale was waning. I needed some motivation.

Then, I remembered my own advice from the very book I was publishing. In The Heart to Start, I talk about “the whip.” The idea that one piece of a project should build motivation for the next.

Instead of killing myself with my launch, I decided to do one piece at a time. Each piece would build momentum for the next piece.

  • First, I launched on Kindle.
  • Then, I recorded the audiobook.
  • Then, I launched Createspace. Reading the audiobook helped me catch any last-minute mistakes. I could easily fix them on Kindle before putting the content on Createspace.
  • Then, I launched the audiobook. It took several weeks for my audio editors to master the audio, and for ACX to approve it.

Each piece of the launch built momentum. Each piece of the launch allowed me to learn new things. As a nice side-bonus, each launch step gave me a new reason to email my readers and ask for reviews.

Two months after my book debuted, I’m still “launching it.” I’m learning new things every step of the way. I’m running AMS (Amazon) and Bookbub ads, I’m doing podcast interviews and guest posts.

  • Once my Kindle Unlimited term is up, I’ll go wide and publish on iBooks, Google Play, and Kobo.
  • The paperback is now available on Ingram, and I may see if I can try to get it on shelves at Barnes & Noble.
  • When everything is in place, I’ll start trying for a Bookbub promotion.

As self-publishers, we have so much to learn – and it is truly a never-ending learning experience. But we don’t have to let the vision of the “perfect” launch get in the way of getting our work out there. One step at a time does get you there.

I hope that sharing my approach to launching a book has given you ideas for your own book launch. And has helped to show you that your book launch doesn’t have to kill you.


David Kadavy is best-selling author of The Heart to Start, and Design for Hackers – which debuted on the top twenty on all of Amazon. He hosts the podcast Love Your Work , where he explores finding your unique path to success, and optimizing your creative output. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook.