Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Tip 3 Is it scannable?   Leave a comment


Is your back cover blurb scannable?

 

Sophie Masson gives some good advice:

  • Short and succinct–around 150 words is ideal, to give enough information without overloading the reader
  • Snappily and enticingly written with no confusing bits
  • Written in third person, even if book is in first-person voice
  • Attractive to look at—well-designed in terms of text on the page, what’s around it, color background, etc.—

 

And finally, starting with a tag line, in italics, works well: maybe setting time and place—e.g., Moscow, June 1937—or introducing a main character, e.g., Meet Septimus Drake, master magician—or an intriguing line of text from the book, usually from very early on, e.g., It was supposed to be a foolproof plan…

January 9, 2017 by Sophie Masson

As I looked back on the back covers of my books, I realized that I need to rewrite all of them. The above description describes a well written, easily scannable blurb.

 Where the Crawdads Sing

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

 

I may have left out the highlighted red. The word count is good. Seems very clear. Written in the third person, and as I cannot find a back cover image I can’t comment on the background. I think it needs a tag line!

 

The Silent Patient

If you don’t already know the premise of this book, a well-known artist accused of killing her husband, and immediately goes silent. No communication of any kind. Not even to defend herself – because did she really kill the husband that she adored and doted on? Most of the story is told by the new doctor who believes he can cure the artist and make her speak. (Messiah complex, anyone?) Pretty simple premise, really. But the execution is interesting and there were still enough little surprises that I didn’t mind knowing the ending. If you haven’t read it already and you are a thriller fan, then what are you waiting for?

 

I would have deleted the part highlighted in red and added the blue. May have given the main character’s name instead of just “she.”

 

Where the Forest Meets the Stars

In this gorgeously stunning debut, a mysterious child teaches two strangers how to love and trust again. After the loss of her mother and her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna Teale returns to her graduate research on nesting birds in rural Illinois, determined to prove that her recent hardships have not broken her. She throws herself into her work from dusk to dawn, until her solitary routine is disrupted by the appearance of a mysterious child who shows up at her cabin barefoot and covered in bruises. The girl calls herself Ursa, and she claims to have been sent from the stars to witness five miracles. With concerns about the child’s home situation, Jo reluctantly agrees to let her stay–just until she learns more about Ursa’s past. Jo enlists the help of her reclusive neighbor, Gabriel Nash, to solve the mystery of the charming child. But the more time they spend together, the more questions they have. How does a young girl not only read but understand Shakespeare? Why do good things keep happening in her presence? And why aren’t Jo and Gabe checking the missing children’s website anymore? Though the three have formed an incredible bond, they know difficult choices must be made. As the summer nears an end and Ursa gets closer to her fifth miracle, her dangerous past closes in. When it finally catches up to them, all of their painful secrets will be forced into the open, and their fates will be left to the stars.I enjoy a good

 

Long, but I think it has me hooked, I enjoy a good science fiction now and then.

 

Tip 4 A new back cover. Next Week

#Writing #BookTips #Hubert’sBlog #WritingTips

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Tip 2 Did they tell all?   Leave a comment


Is your 200+ blurb so long that it bores you and your readers to the point that they but the book back on the shelf? Amazon’s three best sellers.

26 WEEKS ON THE LIST   4 WEEKS ON THE LIST   5 WEEKS ON THE LIST

Biased on the following Book Summaries would you read the books? Where the Crawdads Sing For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens. Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

My curiosity is up a little I might read on.

The Silent Patient If you don’t already know the premise of this book, a well-known artist kills her husband and immediately goes silent. No communication of any kind. Not even to defend herself – because did she really kill the husband that she adored and doted on? Most of the story is told by the new doctor who believes he can cure the artist and make her speak. (Messiah complex, anyone?) Pretty simple premise, really. But the execution is interesting and there were still enough little surprises that I didn’t mind knowing the ending. If you haven’t read it already and you are a thriller fan, then what are you waiting for?

My curiosity is low, I wonder what made it a best seller?

Where the Forest Meets the Stars In this gorgeously stunning debut, a mysterious child teaches two strangers how to love and trust again. After the loss of her mother and her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna Teale returns to her graduate research on nesting birds in rural Illinois, determined to prove that her recent hardships have not broken her. She throws herself into her work from dusk to dawn, until her solitary routine is disrupted by the appearance of a mysterious child who shows up at her cabin barefoot and covered in bruises. The girl calls herself Ursa, and she claims to have been sent from the stars to witness five miracles. With concerns about the child’s home situation, Jo reluctantly agrees to let her stay–just until she learns more about Ursa’s past.Jo enlists the help of her reclusive neighbor, Gabriel Nash, to solve the mystery of the charming child. But the more time they spend together, the more questions they have. How does a young girl not only read but understand Shakespeare? Why do good things keep happening in her presence? And why aren’t Jo and Gabe checking the missing children’s website anymore? Though the three have formed an incredible bond, they know difficult choices must be made. As the summer nears an end and Ursa gets closer to her fifth miracle, her dangerous past closes in. When it finally catches up to them, all of their painful secrets will be forced into the open, and their fates will be left to the stars.

My curiosity is high, though long for a back of the book blurb, I can see why it made the list.

Tip 3 Did they Make it scannable? Next Week

#Writing #BookTips #Hubert’sBlog #WritingTips

Posted March 17, 2019 by caverhubert in Books, Caving, Fiction

Could There Be Gold   Leave a comment


Hawk Mountain

The plot for a new book I am working on.

 

Matthew, Clair, John, and Joann join up with Martin and Sue to hike for a week on the AT. At the top of Hawk Mountain, they run into trouble when something or someone scares them. They decide to try and track them down and find out what is going on.

Ed, retired and living alone, hikes the trail and searches Hawk Mountain for Indian artifacts. If hikers on the AT get too close to his diggings he will try and scare them off. Ed also has to avoid the Army Rangers who conduct training excises on the mountain.

Matthew found information on the internet about a shelter on Hawk Mountain with a strange story about two friends on their third day of hiking in Georgia from Springer Mountain on the A.T. When they arrived at the two-story shelter, with a picnic table and two wood windows opening on the second level in the rear, it appeared that the last occupants left in a rush. They left a tarp, toilet paper, a t-shirt, and other items. It looked like someone or something scared them off.

*** Summer of 2016 ***

As Martin and Sue are standing near the Ranger landing spot with the “523 aviation marker” on the ground, a bolt of lightning strikes the ground nearby blowing a large foot deep hole in the ground. Sue slightly dazed looks around for Martin who cannot be found. After the group search for Martin, they decide to camp there and wait.

Martin looked around at the strange landscape, the trees were strange, like none he had never seen before. Large leaves and jungle vines hanging from all of them. Then he remembered the flash, just like when he walked past the mailbox with the number 150 on the side that sent him back in time 150 years. He thought about the number on the ground near where he stood, 523. Had he traveled back in time 523 years? How long would it take to return this time, days, hours, or minutes?

*** Summer of 1493 ***

Dark Cloud and Broken Branch stood before the tribal chief and awaited their instructions. Chief Thunder Cloud stood tall and spoke with a loud voice, “We have strangers from a distant land where the Sun rises approaching our beaches. I am sending you on a long journey to our father’s burial grounds high in the mountains. You are to take our tribes treasure and bury it there. Place a flat rock over the spot, then mark the trail from there back to our summer hunting grounds, so that we may find it in the future.”

Dark Cloud looked worried, as he starred at Chief Thunder Cloud. “The tribal treasure is very heavy, and Broken Branch has only one good arm. How can we carry such a heavy load that long distance.”

“You will travel with our hunting party leaving in the morning, they will help you. When you reach the camp at the western edge of our hunting ground, you will be on your own up the mountain to our happy hunting ground of our fathers. Take care that no one sees where you bury the treasure.”

“I may have been born with this broken branch, but my other arm is twice as strong, we will be able to carry the load.” Said Broken Branch.”

“Very well here is the treasure in this strong dear skin bag, guard it well.”

The hunting party traveled ten days to camp at the hunting ground, and after a day of rest Broken Branch and Dark Cloud left for the burial ground carrying the treasure with a pole on their shoulders and the bag tied between them. The two-day hike had been made several times before when a chief or medicine man died.

As he lay there on the grass, Martin heard strange voices in the distance. Pulling himself up to his feet, he found a hiding place nearby in the thick undergrowth. Two Indians carrying a heavy load attached to a pole between them were coming up the trail toward him. Martin crouched down and held his breath until they went by. Keeping a safe distance he followed them up the mountain. At last, they stopped at a small clearing and dug a shallow hole with their knife. They buried the large bag in the hole and placed a large flat rock over the loose dirt.

After the Indians left, Martin dug up the bag and opened it. Gold nuggets almost spilled out. Martin dragged the gold a short distance and placed it between three large rocks, looking around he found another flat rock that would cover the gold and rest on the three that were in the ground. On the side of one of the three rocks, he scratched a deep X. brushing the grass back up to cover the path made by dragging the gold he retreated back to the open hole, filled it and placed the flat rock back in place.

Checking his watch, twenty-five minutes had passed and he hoped this trip would be like the first, only thirty minutes in duration. He returns to the exact spot where he stood when the flash occurred and waited.

*** Summer of 2016 ***

As Sue and Clair waited at the “523 marker”, Matthew, John, and Joann searched a large circle around the landing field looking for Martin. Almost thirty minutes had passed since Martin disappeared. A hiker approached John, “What are you looking for?”

“Our friend is lost and we don’t know where he went, have you seen anyone on the trail without a backpack? He left it at our camp.”

“No, my name is Ed, I’ll be looking for arrowheads around the mountain, if I see him I’ll tell that his friends are looking for him. What’s his name?”

“Martin, and tell him that Sue is worried about him.”

Ed continued on with his search for Indian artifacts. Looking back as he left, making sure he was not being followed. He had found an old burial ground and needed to be alone to dig for artifacts.

Sue jumped and fell over the top of Martin when he suddenly appeared sitting next to her on the ground. “Where in the world did you come from?”

“Sure glad it lasted only thirty minutes.”

“You’re glad what lasted only thirty minutes?”

“You know, my trip to the past, let’s move away from that marker before it sends me back again like each time I walked past the broken mailbox with the number 150 on it, and I went back one hundred and fifty years into the past. The first time it lasted only thirty minutes, then doubled each time I came into contact with it. Now it looks like the same thing is going on with the numbers on the ground!”

“You mean you traveled back in time five hundred and twenty-three years?”

“Not sure, but it sure looked different and I saw a couple of Indians that I hid from.”

Clair, returning from a short walk to the edge of the field, “Martin! Where have you been, we were looking all over for you?”

Posted March 8, 2019 by caverhubert in Books, Caving, Fiction

Coal Dust And Cave Mud, My Memoir   Leave a comment


FrontCover

The Bypass

 To avoid the drop, take the Bypass,

a little tight but better than an impasse.

Going down is easy, just let go and slide.

When you reach the bottom, just lay back and glide.

The bottom opens up into a nice low stroll,

now coming back you may feel like a mole.

The upward slope tends to make you rise,

before you reach the spot that is the right size.

Rising up before the end may get difficult,

unable to turn your head or even look up.

To continue on you must relax and subside,

hug the floor until it forces you up the side.

As you become vertical trying for a foothold,

position your arms so they will unfold.

Now you know if you are a little overweight,

wouldn’t it be wonderful just to deflate?

If you’re in the lead and the slope is dry,

feel blessed–and sorry for the next guy.

If your boots are wet and greasing the floor,

the last person out will curse all the more.

Tight SpotPettyjohn Cave, Georgia

From book, Coal Dust and Cave Mud, you can preview it here.

Posted February 18, 2014 by caverhubert in Books, Caving

Cool Cave Spring   Leave a comment


MYCOVER 600 x 800

Cool Cave Spring

Cool cave spring on a hot summer day,

draws me close to enter and stay.

A nice shady spot to soak and rest,

but first I will give it a little test.

Clear and clean the bottom easily seen,

rocks with strange shades of brown and green.

Behind a rock something catches my eye,

a cold chill ran up my spine then down my thigh.

Time to back away and leave this spring,

I’ll not disturb this slithering thing!

Snake 2

At the entrance of Sauta Cave, Alabama.

From the book Looking Ahead, you can preview it here.

Posted February 18, 2014 by caverhubert in Books, Caving, Chapbooks of Poems

Dreaming Deep and Low   Leave a comment


MyCover 800 x 600

Dreaming Deep and Low

Still and quiet, all I hear is my heart,

I strain to see or hear, could this be art?

A lovely painting of black in my mind,

to clear my thoughts and help unwind.

Mountains rise as water finds the cracks,

to make strange places that have no tracks.

Some are drawn to push below,

exploring where the going is slow.

Older now, I can only dream,

of wading some unknown stream.

Still others explore deep below,

taking pictures for all to show.

Water running, the tick of a clock,

or was it the sound of falling rock.

A glimmer of light, what lies ahead?

I guess its time to get out of bed!

 Image

 From the book Challenges of Life, you can preview it here.

Posted February 18, 2014 by caverhubert in Books, Caving, Chapbooks of Poems

Georgia Caver   Leave a comment


MYCOVER 600 x 800

Georgia Caver

Mud and slime will not stop a Georgia caver.

Tight crawls make a challenge that we favor.

Rain or shine, under ground it’s always good weather.

Watch for storms, take the high route, stay together.

We take nothing but pictures and leave only tracks.

Push all the leads and follow all tight cracks.

Carry plenty of light and maybe even a snack.

Bring a complete change of clothes, bag or sack.

We map as we go, but some will scoop.

At day’s end we are all ready for soup.

A Georgia caver, but TAG is more like home.

We will drive to Knoxville, Nashville, Huntsville or Rome.

Big or small, deep and long, we’ll take all!

Caving at its best winter, summer, spring and fall.

 Georgia Caver

                    Figure 18 In memory of John Wallace 1924-1994, Georgia caver.

From the book Trees, Bees and Weeds, you can preview it here.

Posted February 18, 2014 by caverhubert in Books, Caving, Chapbooks of Poems