Monday, December 5, 2016

Cooking by the Book

The first book that I ever had published was MURDER UNCORKED. It wasn't the first one that I ever wrote, but it was the first one that an agent wanted to represent and that was sold along with two other books in the series. If you've read about Nikki Sands and her eccentric friends on the vineyard solving murder mysteries, eating great food and drinking wine, then you know that first book turned into a series of seven with two short stories as well. Readers of the series also know that there are recipes and wine pairings in the books.

Readers have asked me through the years if I would put the recipes and wine pairings in one compilation. I have now done that and am happy to say that it is permanently free on Nook, iBooks, Kobo, etc. You'll find the recipes from all of the books and you'll also learn where the ideas came from and some of my personal journey while writing each book in the series. The best part is that it is FREE! I've also made MURDER UNCORKED permanently free! If you have a Kindle and want to receive the books free, please e-mail me at michele@michelescott.com and I'll send you the PDF. Hope you enjoy!

Cheers,
Michele

https://www.books2read.com/u/mdK7K5

https://www.books2read.com/u/bOr6KQ

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Imagination

Remember when you were a little kid and you could play all sorts of games, fantasies, adventures that you created in your head? I sure do. I can remember playing Charlie's Angels with my friend Jill...there were only two of us, so we pretended a third one was there. We just imagined her. I can also remember going out on riding trails with my friends on our horses and we could create some amazing adventures about cowboys and Indians, and being bad guys...or good guys. We had a blast! I feel grateful that my imagination has continued to inspire me. I may not play dress up with my friends any longer so-to-speak, but I create pages of stories that I have so much fun doing.

Thinking about imagination and writing...and childhood, got me thinking about a program I developed several years ago and worked with kids in schools. With the season's chill upon us and many families finding themselves indoors over the next few months, I wanted to share with you an idea to help any little ones you have in the house that might spark their imagination. If you've got kids who like to create stories, and I think most kids do, then this is a fun exercise you can do with them. This is really geared toward the little ones. I'll add some exercises over the month for older kids who are aspiring writers that you can share with them, or even use yourself.

So, with the little ones I worked grades pre-K-1st I made worksheets that we later turned into a picture book (get out the crayons).  The story I made up was...If I were an animal, I would be a (blank...they'd fill in the blank), and on that page they'd draw that animal in any way they wanted to. The next page was: My name would be (blank). I'd go on an adventure to (blank), and I'd meet a (blank). You get the idea. Each sentence was a page for them to fill in the blank and draw their picture. It opened them up creatively and they were learning how to spell words. It's a lot of fun and if there are so many ideas you can do. You can create a holiday book, an alphabet book, a book about their favorite thing to do... If you want any ideas or further help in doing this with your child, feel free to e-mail me a michele@michelescott.com and I'd be happy to help you and your child(ren) create their own story, which can also be a pretty neat gift to give to their other parent, grand parents, teachers, etc...

On a side note, for your kids ages 8-11 who love to read, I want to share with you that my children's book The Clover Siblings and the Evil of Desmal is now permanently free on iTunes, Nook, Kobo, etc. It's still showing $2.99 on Kindle, but I am working to get that changed to free as well.

I hope you're enjoying the holiday season and that you take time for your family and friends! Many Blessings!

Michele
To check out The Clover Siblings and where you can download for free, visit:

https://www.books2read.com/u/47kNk8

Friday, December 2, 2016

Conspiracy Theories

Let's face it...we're living in some very different times. There's a lot that feels unsettling these days and so much divineness around the world that I think many people are questioning their values and thoughts. I know that I certainly am and as a writer my brain is running rampant with all sorts of book ideas.

However, the book I want to write about today was the first book that I ever wrote--COVERT REICH, and the reason I wanted to blog about it is that for a book I wrote twenty-five years ago, there are some messages in that book that in a weird way I see taking shape in our real world today--maybe not to the extent of what I fictionalized a long time ago, but still...there's some messages that I put in the book that I think if we looked around today we'd find evidence of some of the scary plot I created way back when.

The premise of COVERT REICH is: A sect of the US government has devised a plan to rid society of those they feel are "undesirable" within the culture.

I developed the idea when my oldest son Alex was born. He was six weeks preemie and spent two weeks in the hospital. It was a very difficult time as a young mom to see him in an incubator where I could only touch him through gloves that I put my hands through on the side of the incubator. He was hooked up to all sorts of monitoring machines and receiving medication for his under developed lungs. This was obviously very upsetting for me, but a nurse showed me an infant that had been addicted to drugs and his mother had given birth and left him for foster care. This baby had no fight in him. He was pretty still every time I looked at him. My son, on the other hand did his share of crying, moving around, etc...and although it upset me to see him struggle and not be able to hold him, the nurse explained to me that he'd be fine because he had a will to survive, and the baby who was detoxing from drugs did not have the same survival skills. That disheartened me a great deal.

Two weeks later, my son was big enough, healthy and strong enough to come home with his monitors (I'm happy to say that he is a very healthy 25 year old now) and because I needed to be at home with him, I decided that I would try to pursue my dreams of being a writer. What would I write about? Well...I knew I always wanted to write thrillers and mystery because that's all I ever pretty much read.  As I was coming up with ideas, I watched a Sixty Minutes program about drugs, the impoverished, the government and the belief of their involvement in keeping the poor addicted to drugs, and also the sterilization of welfare recipients. Combined with Alex's stay in the hospital and seeing some very sick infants, along with that news story, I found my what if... and three hundred and some odd pages later, I had written my first book. I had originally titled it COVERT WOMB and when I finished it I went on to write more books.

A few years ago that original storyline, which hadn't been published kept nagging me to take another look at it. So I did and with the help of my Yoda (my editor Mile Sirota) we went back through and reviewed, polished and I self published it on Amazon where I've now sold a lot of copies.

More and more COVERT REICH reminds me of my beginnings as a writer, but lately it's made me think again about humanity and where we are in this day and age...do we love our neighbors? And, if we don't, shouldn't we? We sure need to. Hatred, discrimination, prejudice, paranoia, manipulation and divisive words and actions will lead is away from positive growth and inclusiveness. In fact, it has the potential to lead us into a downward spiral of destruction.

In the hopes that each of us will reach out to one another in a loving manner with kind actions and words (especially during this holiday season), I'm placing COVERT REICH on sale for .99 for the month of December. Any royalties received on that book for this month will go to Oxfam.org, which is a charity I believe in. I hope you'll check out the book.

Many blessings to all of my readers, your families, friends, and to all. Here is a link to the book on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/zposlwj