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Posts From Old Website – January 2016

My old website was a Weebly site and as of today there is no way to import my old blog posts from Weebly to Word Press.  So, I’m going to post them here.

The dates will be off, but the content will be the same.

WHY AMAZON REVIEWS ARE IMPORTANT TO AUTHORS

01/26/2016

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First, let me thank all of you who have read one or more of my books.  Now, I’m going to beg those same people to write a review on Amazon (but only if you liked the book J).Let me explain why an Amazon review is so important to independent authors.Okay.  I’ve finished my first book and I think it’s great. My beta readers love it and I’m ready to turn it loose on the world.  I publish it on Amazon.  Now what?  According to a Forbes’ article written January 8, 2013, there are an estimated 600,000 to 1,000,000 books published every year in the US alone. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorgan/2013/01/08/thinking-of-self-publishing-your-book-in-2013-heres-what-you-need-to-know/#2715e4857a0b582eb7429f43)The number has only increased since then, so how do I make my book stand out?  First, I have to have a good cover.  The cover is what captures the potential reader’s attention.  Next, my description had better be good.  If the reader likes that then they can read a sample chapter or two using Amazon’s “Look Inside” option.Okay, I’ve done all that.  The cover is good.  The description is interesting (I’m always tweaking it) and the story is good and although I won’t swear there isn’t a typo it’s not littered with them or grammatical errors.  Okay, so my little grain of sand should shine in the Sahara of books available, but how do I make it stand out?  How do I get readers to see it?  Advertise!Great.  I’ll lay down some cash for my story. There are numerous companies willing to take my money, but most of them don’t deliver.  There is no return on investment (ROI).  Some companies are better than others but they have requirements and two of those requirements are number of reviews and the average number of stars for those reviews.  The number of reviews required to advertise varies from company to company.  Most of the better companies require somewhere between ten and fifty reviews, but the granddaddy of all the advertisers, BookBub, requires at least a hundred, maybe more depending on the genre.  Now, BookBub does not state the number on their website, but they do run a question and answer session on Twitter and they have said that for the more popular genres (such as mine) a hundred plus reviews is what they are looking for.Why advertise on BookBub?  Because they deliver, time and time again.  At least that’s what those lucky authors who have been accepted by BookBub have reported.  I’m talking about real independent authors who belong to the same author forums that I do, so they are not affiliated with BookBub.  Plus, since BookBub is so successful they publish their average downloads per category and sale price.  If you look at those numbers – wow – they do deliver.  (https://www.bookbub.com/partners/pricing?utf8=%E2%9C%93&regions=us&currencies=%24+(USD)) I’ve been rejected by BookBub numerous times.  I plan on submitting again right before I release book three in the Lake of Sins series.  I really, really need more reviews.  So please, I am begging here, if you read and liked my books, please write a review on Amazon.ThanksL. S. O’Dea

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LAKE OF SINS

01/24/2016

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I thought that illustrating some of the scenes from the book might be fun and I thought that it might help draw people to my table at MegaCon.  So, here is the first one, although it isn’t really from the book.  Instead, this is just an idea of what one part of the Lake of Sins looks like.You can see the island in the back and you can tell that there is something large on the island.  That’s the statue of course.Let me know what you think of the drawing.  I wanted it to be ominous and creepy.  I think Neoxeven at Fiverr did a great job with that.

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FAITH IN HUMANITY RESTORED (FOR A BIT)

01/19/2016

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After going out to eat for my niece’s birthday, I had to put oil in my car.  My car is old.  It has 280,000+ miles on it.  It loses a bit of oil.  Anyway, it was dark and I was in the parking lot of the restaurant.  A couple got out of their car.  They were probably in their 50s.  The man saw me putting oil in and said, “Just needs a little drink?”  I could tell by the way that he said it, that he really hoped that was the issue.  He didn’t want to help, but for some reason inside of him, he had to offer.I understand why he didn’t want to help.  He and his wife/girlfriend were going out to eat.  He didn’t want to get delayed or dirty.  That made the fact that he did say something even more special.  He was kind and couldn’t help it.  I appreciate it.  Things like that help to restore my faith in humanity.  He could have just walked by.  Another man probably would have, but there was something in him, something he was either born with or was taught by his parents that made him offer to help when he didn’t want to.  That is a quality that I admire.  That is a quality that we should all adopt and it is a quality we should instill in our children.

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 OLD TESTAMENT SOUL

01/18/2016

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I believe that I’ve been on this earth before.  I have an old soul. This isn’t a very Catholic thing to think but I veered from the religion of my birth years ago.  The idea of heaven—a place where everything is perfect and there is no pain, no sorrow—does not appeal to me.  I don’t think that we can enjoy the day without the dark and the cold without the heat (when I lived up North it was the heat without the cold).  Kindness would be nothing if it were not so rare.  Most people aren’t mean or cruel but that doesn’t make them kind.  No, I don’t think that I could find peace in heaven. Where’s the struggle, the drive, the competition?I also believe that there is a piece of Old Testament in my old soul.  Perhaps, that’s why I keep getting sent back to earth instead of moving on, if moving on is even an option.  Maybe, I need to learn forgiveness instead of an-eye-for-an-eye.  I have a hard time with forgiveness.  I forget a lot because many things just don’t matter to me, but forgiveness is another story.Take Michael Vick for example.  According to our society he paid for his crimes.  Not for me.  I won’t be satisfied that he’s paid for his crimes until either he experiences everything he put those poor dogs through or he brings them back and gives them all a good home.  See, I told you.  Old Testament is in my soul.

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WHAT DEFINES A PERSON

01/16/2016

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I don’t care about the color of your skin.  That is decided at birth.What religion you practice, if any, doesn’t matter to me.  Your sexual preference?  That’s your business, not mine.What is important to me is how you treat animals, children and the elderly.  That defines the real you.

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LOVING YOUR DOG AND LOVING YOUR KIDS ISN’T AN EITHER/OR SITUATION

01/16/2016

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I read an article yesterday that made me angry and then sad and finally a bit disgusted.  The article was written by Allison Benedikt and is titled The One Thing No One Tells You Before You Have Kids: Don’t get a dog(http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2013/07/kids_and_dogs_if_you_re_having_a_baby_do_not_get_a_puppy.html)This woman is honest, I’ll give her props for that, but I also think she is a poor excuse for a human being (I think I’m still a little angry for poor Velvel).  This article starts with this woman and her boyfriend adopting a puppy, Velvel.  Velvel was everything to them until they had kids. I get this.  I understand.  The dog takes a back seat to your children.  If she’d written about the difficulties of raising children with a dog, I wouldn’t be upset.  However, she goes so far to say that once she had kids she didn’t love her dog.  She writes this like that is how it is for everyone.  I know plenty of people who have dogs and kids and love them all.  I’m not saying that you should love your dog like a child.  Your dog is not a child, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love him/her.Most humans have the capacity to love many things (this woman obviously does not).  I love my father but not in the same way that I love my brother.  I love both of them differently than I love a boyfriend (I’m not married so I can’t say husband).  And I love them all differently than I love a child.  I don’t have kids but I have helped raise several and I’ve loved them all.  We had dogs and I loved them too.  The dogs were not kids and the kids were not dogs, but they all wanted and deserved love.I don’t understand how someone can love their dog and then just stop because they now have children to take care of.  It makes me sad for Velvel of course, because he never stopped loving her.  A dog doesn’t do that.  They are better than most of us and definitely better than Allison Benedikt.Now, she did keep the dog so I’ll give her credit for that and it seems that she kept Velvel inside so hopefully, one of the kids stepped in to give the dog the love it was no longer getting from her.  I do have to wonder about the lesson the kids will learn.  Will they learn that it’s okay to love someone and then just stop?  Or maybe, that it’s normal and okay to have a limited capacity to love.  Perhaps, one day when their mother is old (like poor Velvel) the kids will show her the same compassion and love.I can only hope.

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NEW COVER FOR RISE OF THE RIVER MAN

01/14/2016

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Here’s the new cover for the Rise of the River Man book. I have a post on my home page, but I’ll summarize here for those of you who follow my blog. This book wasn’t selling so I put on my detective hat and figured out that most people hated my cover (I liked it. I guess that makes me cheesy). Anyway, Luke Ahearn (www.lukeahearn.com) designed this cover for me and I have to admit that it definitely throws a more powerful punch.  When I saw the first draft, I actually said, “Wow.”  I live alone so I usually only talk to myself in my head (lots of conversations going on in there). Anyway, let me know what you think. lsodea7@gmail.com or post a comment on this blog.

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MOVIE STARS AND OTHER FAMOUS FOLKS

01/10/2016

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I’ve never understood society’s fascination with the rich and famous.Once when I was on a date, the guy took me by the home of Jim Davis, the creator of the Garfield comic.  He didn’t know Mr. Davis.  We couldn’t even see the house from the street, but he obviously thought I’d be impressed.  I wasn’t.  Jim Davis has nothing to do with my life.  More than likely, Jim Davis will never have anything to do with my life, so why would I care where he lives or what he has.Most people don’t feel the way that I do and perhaps, it’s because I think in stories.  My life is my story.  It’s usually boring and routine, but it is my story.  Every day, I encounter different characters.  Each one has his or her own story but most will not play a part in mine.  It is important to remember that in a good tale the characters belong to the story as much as the story belongs to the characters.  You can’t yank a character from one story and drop them into another.   The same is true with life. The rich and famous have no more place in my story than Curious George has in Gone With The Wind.  My life is my own adventure, my own movie and I’m only interested in those characters who belong in my story.

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REMAKING MY BED OR THROWING IT OUT:

01/07/2016

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I’ve used the saying—You’ve made you bed, now you have to lie in it.—many times over the years.  I’ve said it to others and told it to myself.  Today, I realized that it’s a load of crap.Sure, I made choices and decisions that have placed me where I am right now and I do have to live (lie) with that—For NOW.  It doesn’t mean that I can’t remake my bed or better yet, throw it out and make a new one  There are some aspects of my life that I like but there are many that I don’t and it’s time to change that.  I, like everyone, have a limited time on this earth and I’ll be damned if I let some decision that I made ten years ago, or five years ago or yesterday determine how I will live now and in the future.I am taking control over my life.  I understand that on the surface things won’t change overnight, but underneath, inside of me, they’re already different and that’s what counts.

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RESOLUTIONS: 2016

01/03/2016

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Every year I make resolutions and every year, I’ve broken them by around the 2nd or 3rd of January.  I’m not very good at denying myself something that I want.  A little voice in my head keeps chanting — you deserve this, go ahead.  That little voice is a devil. Anyway, this year I decided to approach my resolutions a bit differently.  The end goal is the same but the thought behind it is different.  I would still like to lose weight, eat better, exercise more, write more, etc, but this year instead of putting numbers on these (exercise 1 hour a day, write 2 hours a day, etc), I’m going to resolve to make choices that will make me happier in the long run. Of course, eating that brownie or having that second (or third – I’m being honest here) Pepsi will make me happy in the moment, but making choices that have made me happy in the moment have left me fat and unhealthy and often sad. So, for 2016 I resolve to make choices that I know will make me satisfied at the end of the day.  So far so good.  I’ve gotten up and exercised both on the 1st and 2nd (and I wasn’t feeling well on the 2nd). Hopefully, by 2017 I will be healthier and thinner and happier. Good luck to everyone else out there.  It’s hard to change your life but what else is there to do but try.

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Posts From Old Website – December 2015

My old website was a Weebly site and as of today there is no way to import my old blog posts from Weebly to Word Press.  So, I’m going to post them here.

The dates will be off, but the content will be the same.

WHAT CHRISTMAS MEANS TO ME: 2015

12/24/2015

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Several weeks ago, I was asked by a fellow author what Christmas means to me.  I’ve been pondering that question ever since. At first, I was sure that the meaning, the feeling of Christmas changed as I aged, but the more I thought about it and examined my memories of Christmases past, I realized that it had remained the same. When I was a child, Christmas was about the birth of Jesus, Santa, presents and family.  I remember playing with the stuffed Christmas elves and reindeer (think Elf on a Shelf).  I remember midnight mass with the lights and music.  The cold car seats of a December in Indiana.  The warm, full family breakfast at my aunt’s house and loads of presents.  As I reached my teen and college years Christmas was still about the birth of Jesus, presents, and family but that was in the background.  At the front of my priority list was the break from school and homework.  Going out with friends.  The hectic days and nights of working retail.  I remember the Christmas luncheon at K-mart on Christmas Eve.  The camaraderie with my co-workers.  The struggle to find gifts for my friends and family.  After college, Christmas was still about family, but this time the gifts were for the kids.  It was about making sure that they had a great day and doing the best that we could to keep the magic alive.  The joy and surprise in a child’s eye on Christmas morning is extraordinary, perhaps because it is so fleeting.Now, Christmas is still for the kids (another generation), family and the birth of Jesus.  After reading this you could say that the meaning of Christmas, for me, has shifted with every stage in my life and that I have I come full circle.  I have to disagree. I don’t think we ever come full circle.  To do that would imply that we’re on the same path as before.  Life is not cyclic by a spiral.  I have passed where I started, looking back at who I was.  I am no longer that child eagerly waiting for Santa nor the teen or young adult but I have vague memories of who I was.When I looked deeper than the surface memories of past Christmases into the feeling of the holiday I discovered they were really about comfort and peace.  Being accepted by those around you.  Being a part of something bigger.  Being safe.  Being loved. As a child I was loved and loved my family.  I was safe with them.  As a teen I loved my family and my friends.  I did what I could to make them all happy.  As a young guardian to children, I was trying to create a warm and safe home for the kids.  Now, as I sit in my living room, surrounded by the innocent animals who were abandoned and abused, I am content that I can offer them a home.  A place where they can sleep warm and safe.  Unafraid of hunger, loneliness and pain.  Content in the knowledge that whatever the next day will bring, it will not be bad.So, for me Christmas is a time of reflecting on the peace in your life.  The peace that you create and share with others.Merry Christmas to everyone.

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5 STAR REVIEW OF LAKE OF SINS: SECRETS IN BLOOD

12/18/2015

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I’m excited to announce that my book, Lake of Sins: Secrets in Blood has received a 5-star review from Readers’ Favorite.

Here’s the link and the review.

 

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INTERVIEW WITH MIRRA

12/12/2015

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This interview was written for my blog tour last October.  I’m not sure how many of my readers had followed the tour, so I’m going to post some of the interviews/blogs here.  Hope you like it.

 

Interviewer:  “Ah…hi, Mirra. Where’s Trinity?”

Mirra:  “Mirra come first. Cover scent.  Little One, Gaar-Mine come soon.”

Interviewer:  “Ah, uhm, that’s great.  Uhm, just great.”

Mirra:  “You ask Little One questions?”

Interviewer:  “Ah, yes.  She’s agreed to an interview.”

Mirra:  “What kind questions?”

Interviewer:  “Uhm, all kinds.”

Mirra:  “Nice questions?”

Interviewer:  “Yes, yes, of course.”

Mirra:  “You hurt Little One, Mirra kill you.”

Interviewer:  “No.  I won’t hurt Trinity.  I promise.”

Mirra:  “Mirra decide.  You ask Mirra question first.”

Interviewer:  “Ah, I think it would be better to wait for Trinity and Gaar.”

Mirra:  “No.  Ask Mirra questions now.”

Interviewer:  “Of course.  Hmmm.  Let’s see.  Ah, tell me a little about yourself?”

Mirra:  “What mean?  Mirra is Mirra.”

Interviewer:  “Of course, but if someone didn’t know you what would you want to tell them.  Something like…what’s it like being a Tracker?”

Mirra:  “That stupid question.  How Mirra describe.  Mirra is Tracker.  It all Mirra know.”

Interviewer:  “Okay.  It can be something else then, anything really.”

Mirra:  “Hmmm.  Mirra fast.  Mirra strong.  You come forest.  Mirra find you.  MIrra hunt you.  Mirra eat you.”

Interviewer:  “Great.  That’s certainly good to know.  Uhm, the next question.  Where were you born?”

Mirra:  “Stupid question.  In forest.”

Interviewer:  “Yes, of course.  Ah, what was it like growing up?”

Mirra:  “Good.  Mirra play.  Hunt.  Others like Mirra then.”

Interviewer:  “Do you miss the other Trackers?”

Mirra:  “Some.”

Interviewer:  “Just some?  You seem sad.”

Mirra:  “Mirra remember.  Mirra lonely.  Mirra find Gaar-Mine.  It better.  Mirra no lonely.”

Interviewer:  “Even with your family and friends you were lonely until you bonded with Gaar?”

Mirra:  “Yes.  Before Mirra find Gaar-Mine, Mirra [she taps her chest] empty here.  Hole in Mirra.”

Interviewer:  “Interesting.  Why do you think that is?”

Mirra:  “Stupid question.  Mirra no know.”

Interviewer:  “Okay, next question.  Do you think that you’ve turned out the way your parents expected?”

Mirra:  “Mirra parent want Mirra be good hunter.  Strong.  Fast.  Mirra all those things.”

Interviewer:  “What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?”

Mirra:  [she smiles]  “Mirra frighten them.”

Interviewer:  “How about after they’ve known you for a while?”

Mirra:  “They dead.  They dinner.  The no think.”

Interviewer:  “Ah, of course.  Shouldn’t Gaar and Trinity be here by now?”

Mirra:  “Ask Mirra [taps the paper with her long claw] questions.”

Interviewer:  “Yes, yes, of course.  What are you most proud of about your life?”

Mirra:  “Mirra fast and quiet.  Prey no see no hear Mirra until too late.”

Interviewer:  [glances around]  “Yes, that is something to be proud of. What are you most ashamed of in your life?”

Mirra:  “Mirra no ashamed.”

Interviewer:  “There’s nothing you’ve done that you are sad about?”

Mirra:  “Mirra pets die.  Mirra sad.  Mirra no mean hurt, but they die. Not Little One.  Little One live.  Mirra protect.”

Interviewer:  “Yes, and I wouldn’t dream of hurting her either. Remember that.  What are you afraid of?”

Mirra:  “Mirra no fear anything.”

Interviewr:  “Nothing.  Not growing old.  Getting sick.”

Mirra:  “No.  Mirra want baby.  Mirra get old.  Mirra no have baby.”

Interviewer:  “So you fear getting old and not being able to have offspring?”

Mirra:  “Mirra no fear.”

Interviewer:  “Okay, okay.  Let’s move on.  What would your ideal mate be like?”

Mirra:  “That question no nice.  Mirra only Tracker.  Little One says more Trackers.  Mirra no see them yet.  No Trackers.  No mate for Mirra.”

Interviewer:  “Sorry, sorry.  These questions were meant for Trinity, not you.  Sorry.  Let’s skip this one.  What do you believe about Araldo and what do you suppose he thinks of you?”

Mirra:  “Araldo Almighty god, no Mirra god.”

Interviewer:  “Who is your god?”

Mirra:  “Forest, trees, air, water.  They give Mirra food, drink, shelter.”

Interviewer:  “What does this…nature god think of you?”

Mirra:  “Forest know Mirra strong.  Mirra fast.  Forest help Mirra until Mirra no strong, no fast.  Then forest kill Mirra.”

Interviewer:  “That’s a harsh god by any standards.”

Mirra:  “That truth.”

Interviewer:  “How do you feel about your life right now and what about it would you like to change?”

 

Mirra:  “Mirra life is Mirra life.  No can change what is.”

 

Interviewer:  “But if you could?”

 

Mirra:  “Stupid question, but…Mirra want baby.  Mirra bring back Trackers.”  [turns]  “Gaar-Mine.  Little One.  You here.”

 

Interviewer:  [whispers] “Thank Araldo”

 

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YOUR PET IS NOT A PAIR OF SHOES: DON’T RETURN HER

12/09/2015

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I am not a person prone to strong feelings.  I used to get upset more often but then I started to ask myself, “Will this bother me when I am in my deathbed?”  Generally, the answer is no.  The squabbling of family and co-workers really is nothing more than a momentary squawk and I refuse to get upset about that stuff. This article, however, will irritate me for a  very long time, perhaps until the end.Let me sidestep here to say that sometimes, people do have to take their dog, puppy, pet back to the shelter, rescue, etc.  There are a few (in my opinion) valid reasons for this, such as someone becomes allergic, someone becomes too sick to care for the pet, or someone dies (there may be a few others but none come to mind).Now, let me get back to the article.  It is well written and has some valid points, but the fact that these people adopted (bought from a breeder actually, which in my opinion tells a lot about a person) a puppy, got rid of it because it upset their lives and believe that they taught their daughter a valuable life lesson blows my mind.  First, what did these people expect?  They adopted a baby.  Of course it was going to upset their lives.  They seemed to think that just because this puppy was the same breed as their dog who had just passed, it would be the same.  Well, let me tell you something—EVERY animal is different.  They each have their own personalities and temperament.  The author does state this but still, she obviously had somehow imagined that the puppy would behave like their old dog (I’m trying to be a kinder person so I will not write what I think of that mentality).This idea that you can introduce a puppy, kitten, or pet of any kind into your life and not expect some long days and nights is foolish.  This same stupid belief is often shown on television and that makes me angry too.  For example, on Friends (I know this is an old show, but I don’t watch much TV anymore) when Rachel had her baby, it did not affect her life at all.  She still went to work, hung out with her friends at the coffee shop, etc.  Why are we surprised when teens get pregnant and think that nothing is going to change?The second thing that makes me angry with this article is that not once did they consider the puppy’s feelings.  They crated it at night.  I know a lot of people do that, but think about it.  You have just adopted a social animal.  A baby who is used to snuggling with her siblings and you stick her in a crate alone.  Of course she is going to cry.  She is alone and her instincts scream that it is dangerous.  Have a little consideration.  They also never mentioned thinking about how the puppy would feel when it went back to the breeder.  Well, let me tell you that dogs get depressed after being returned to the shelter, pound or even the breeder. They bond with their new family, their new pack and they are basically kicked out.  In the wild, this would almost certainly mean death.Finally, the thing that pissed me off most is the tone of the article. Although the author did not take this decision lightly, she sounds to me like she feels that this situation has taught her daughter a valuable lesson.  I quote here:“The hardest thing to do in a family is to have the critical conversations,” Taylor-Klaus says. “Your daughter needs to know how hard it was for you and to see that everything in life is not all idyllic.”So, that’s the lesson that you think you taught your daughter? That everything in life is not all idyllic.  I don’t believe that is the lesson she will take from this.  I believe that what she will learn is that if something or someone is too difficult, then you remove them from your life.  Too many people feel this way in our society today.  There is no true commitment.  If the job is hard, quit.  You can find another.  If marriage is not all poems and roses, then end it.  The family in this article made a commitment when they adopted that puppy and in my opinion, they should have seen it through.  They might have had to rearrange their lives a bit but in the end, the puppy would have grown up and the messes and crying would have ceased.  That is the real lesson that should have been taught because life never, NEVER, turns out as you expected and you need to be flexible.  When you do adapt to new people and things in your life, you are usually better off.http://news.yahoo.com/why-we-returned-our-adorable-1314277187690550.html

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ANOTHER GIVEAWAY: ENDS 12/21

12/06/2015

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Tis the Season! I am also participating in a GiveAway on BooksDirect Blog.  I am giving away one AUTOGRAPHED copy of each of my three books: Lake of Sins: Escape, Lake of Sins: Secrets In Blood and Conguise Chronicles: Rise of the River Man AND a T-shirt. The winner of the T-shirt can choose either the character on front or the character on back.  This raffle ends on 12/21/2015 so hurry and enter. http://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/books-direct-christmas-giveaway.html

 

One Autographed Copy.

 

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GIVEAWAY

12/06/2015

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I will be hosting a GIVEAWAY on Goodreads starting this Monday, December 7, 2015. I will be giving away two AUTOGRAPHED copies of Conguise Chronicles: Rise of the River Man. Enter to win and good luck.

GOODREADS BOOK GIVEAWAY

Conguise Chronicles

by L.S. O’Dea

Released October 30 2015

This giveaway is already over.

giveaway details »

Enter Giveaway

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Posts From Old Website – November 2015

My old website was a Weebly site and as of today there is no way to import my old blog posts from Weebly to Word Press.  So, I’m going to post them here.

The dates will be off, but the content will be the same.

MEGACON FAN DAYS NOV 21ST AND 22ND

11/25/2015

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Here’s a photo of my booth at MegaCon Fan Days last weekend. This was my first time as an exhibitor at a convention. It was fun and I met some great people. I sold a few books and really enjoyed the conversations that I had with the people who stopped by my table.   The event itself wasn’t too busy which actually worked out well for my first time.  I was able to chat with some of the other exhibitors and I learned a lot about what seems to work and what doesn’t. I’ve applied for a table at the spring Megacon, but am waiting to hear back from them.  I have a lot of ideas on how to improve my table but if anyone out there has any suggestions, please send me an email or leave a comment.  I am a newbie in all this so all suggestion and advice are welcome. If you stopped by my table, thank you. If you bought a book, thank you again and send me an email and let me know what you think of the world of the Lake of Sins.

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WRITING AND WEIGHT LOSS

11/04/2015

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A few months ago, I decided to approach weight loss like I did writing my first book.  Just keep your head down and push through, day-in and day-out.

Month 1: Determined and dedicated, I lost 11lbs.

Month 2: Not so determined or dedicated, but I maintained most of my weight loss.

Month 3- Well, I didn’t fall off the wagon so much as jumped — right into a big bag of M&Ms (peanut – yummy!).  Gained five of the eleven pounds back.

That’s when I realized that approaching weight loss like writing a book wasn’t going to work for me.  You see, when I fall into my “non-writing” slumps (and I do have those), at least when I go back to my book it didn’t erase itself.

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COMMENTS

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11/04/2015 11:54am

Hehehe i don’t agree with your points. Its depend on on us how we work and how we care of our health and how much time we surf into bed rest. According international survey 8 hours are enough to work in front of computer.

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L. S. O’Dea

11/04/2015 3:51pm

Ah, 8 hours is enough but not necessarily enough to get everything done 🙂

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REVAMPED WEBSITE AND T-SHIRTS

11/01/2015

1 Comment

 

I’ve completely reworked my website. It’s a lot better (in my non-professional opinion). I also have pictures of the T-shirts that will be available for sale at Megacon Fan Days in November. I will be opening up a store on my website to sell these and other items related to my books in the near future. Please email me and let me know what you think and if you want to buy a shirt.  You can take a  look at the home page for the other images of the T-shirts. Basically, I have four. Two low cut, women’s shirts and two men’s T-shirts. Both have the option to have the slogan on front or back.

Posts From Old Website – September 2015

My old website was a Weebly site and as of today there is no way to import my old blog posts from Weebly to Word Press.  So, I’m going to post them here.

The dates will be off, but the content will be the same.

WHY FIGHT NATURE?

09/24/2015

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I was in a meeting today and we were talking about a vendor reorganizing their product, which means more money because it never, ever costs less.  Nothing in life is ever less. We don’t get younger. Our salary doesn’t decrease (or at least we hope it doesn’t). Our insurance costs never, ever go down. The price of food, gas, entertainment, etc. always goes up. Our work load doesn’t decrease. So why am I trying to make my body mass go down?  It would appear that going down breaks the laws of nature. A lion’s appetite doesn’t decrease as it ages. Gazelles don’t get slower as they grow up. The only time things in nature decrease (appetite, speed, quantity) is when a creature or species is on its way out of this world.  So, by this logic it is only natural and good that my weight goes up.  Right?  Nope.  This must be the exception that breaks the rule.  Damnit!
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FEAR THE WALKING DEAD: EPISODE 3

09/16/2015

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SHUT THE DOOR!I’m sure that if you’ve seen the episode, then you know exactly what I mean (quite possibly, you were screaming those exact words at the TV).  Having Nick leave the door open is one of the tactics employed by many horror movies.  I’m okay with it in cheesy-horror flicks, which I love, but I expect more from the Walking Dead series (I’m not sure why since they so often fall into what I call lazy writing and/or directing).  Let me explain why it bothered me so much when Nick left the door open.  First, they live in LA.  They have to have air conditioning.  If you have air conditioning, you automatically shut the doors, even if you are a druggie (Nick was definitely functional).  Second, Nick knows that these people are dead.  He has an understanding of how dangerous this new world is.  He would not have left the door open.Now, let me vent about the dog.  Let’s be honest, the only reason the dog was in the show was so that Travis would see the dead-guy, Peter, eating something and not know if it was Maddie or one of the kids.  That’s it.  There was no other point for the dog even being there. We never saw the dog before it showed up, clawing to get inside (if we did see it earlier, then I apologize because I missed it).  They let it in and then immediately leave the house, leaving the door open.  This to me is lazy.  They could have shown us the dog earlier, just to set the stage.  It could have belonged to Susan and her husband, Patrick.  Then, when the dog arrived, Maddie could have been concerned and they could have gone to Susan’s house.  Once there, Nick could have said something about finding the gun that he’d tried to steal before. Maybe, they’d tried to get the dog to come with them, or better yet, it could have followed them back to its house and then refused to go inside.  That would have been a little foreshadowing that something was very wrong at Susan’s house.   I could continue with plotting this out, but I think you understand where I am going.  If you are going to introduce a character, let him do more than die.  Let there be a real, plausible reason for that character’s existence.I also had a problem with Susan suddenly showing up dead when Alicia was there alone.  When Maddie, Nick and Alicia were in the house, they were not being quiet.  Why didn’t Susan come out then?  We can only assume that she was dead but not reanimated.  Still, wouldn’t Maddie have looked for her neighbor, especially since they were such good friends?  I know that if I were to break into a friend’s house, I’d check to see if said friend was home.  Maddie could have found Susan dead from the flu or a heart-attack.  At that point, with the cops busy and society collasping, there would be nothing that Maddie could do.  This would have added to the tension when Alicia went back for the bullets.  We would have known that there was a dead person just waiting to come back to life.  Again, in my mind, a simple fix.Since I am a dog lover, let me also say that having a dog around is a good thing in a situation like this.  They can hear and smell waaaay better than we can.  I can understand why a TV show doesn’t want to deal with dogs (it isn’t always easy to get them to act on command).  However, the shows always seem to underestimate dogs.  Most are smart.  They would learn quickly that the dead are dangerous and the dogs would know to be quiet.  I’m okay with this one barking because it is a very protective type, but why didn’t it flee through the open door?  It had already run once.  It would run again.Since, I didn’t hate the show, I’ll point out the parts that I did appreciate.There were some good lines or turns of phrases such as when Nick called his drugs…my medicine.  That seems appropriate for a junky – manipulative.  I also like that Maddie is more willing than Travis to accept the fact that the people are dead and not sick. Maddie had already accepted that Nick was going to die from drugs.  She is a realist, had to be in order to survive after her husband either died or left.  I know he died, but it sounded like he wasn’t a good husband/father by the comments when Maddie and her kids were playing Monopoly.I liked the fact that Travis took the trash down to the curb (one of my friends hated it).  Travis still believes that everything is going to go back to normal.  This brings me to the next point.  Travis should have refused to move the body, let alone bury it.  If he believes that everything will be okay, he would have left the body where it was.  The police don’t like it when you move or bury someone who you killed.  They call that tampering with evidence or something like that.I like the tension between Daniel and Travis.  Not sure why it is there (who started it between the two characters).  And, my favorite line was when Daniel said, “Good people are the first ones to die.”  With his background, he’d know.All-in-all it wasn’t a bad episode, just disappointing.  This show could be so much better.
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L. S. O’Dealink

10/10/2015 1:54pm

I like the series too, even though I bash it a bit. I just think it could be a lot better and it wouldn’t take that much effort on the writers/producers.

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WRITING LIFE BLUES

09/10/2015

32 Comments

 

Sometimes, life is hard.  I’m not talking about the tragedies that happen to people, but the little things that wear you down–the monotony of your daily routine (same chores, same food, same TV shows, etc), the negative people you deal with every day and the goals that remain out of reach.  I don’t know if it’s my age (I’m approaching fifty) or if it’s the fact that no matter how hard I work, my life is the same.  Let me be clear, my life is comfortable and I really shouldn’t complain, but sometimes the daily struggle wears on me like the wind erodes the rock.  Gone is the person who thought she’d make a difference.  Annihilated by disappointment is the girl who wanted to change the world.  I’m not sure that there is enough of her strength and ambition left inside of me to pull myself up and continue my journey.  The alternative I am considering is NOT suicide, but instead slipping quietly into accepting that this is the life that I will always have.  The only me that I will ever be.Once, I had dreams of love and money and success.  They wore down until only a fragment of the grand desire remains in my soul, a dusky shadow of itself.  Now, I dream that my stories will sell enough that I can quit my job and live comfortably on my writing.  This dream too is fading.  The books aren’t flying off the electronic shelves.  I’m not sure that they ever will.  It is this degrading of hope that eats away at me the most, digging into my soul and allowing little pieces of me to escape through the holes. I’m not sure how much of “me” is even left, but I am going to take a deep breath and stand up, at least one more time, and forge onward.  This weariness of life is happening more frequently and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll have enough hope left to help me to stand.  It is only a whisper now, where it once was a roar.

32 Comments

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09/22/2015 5:57pm

I always thought that I will not have this routine in my life but, unfortunately, I have. People just need to have beloved in their lives and it will be the fresh breath every day.

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L. S. O’Dea

09/23/2015 7:03am

I agree. Routines can be tedious or great, depending on if you love what you are doing.  thanks for reading and commenting.

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L. S. O’Dealink

10/10/2015 6:07am

You are welcome. I hope it helps someone else who gets down because we all do and we all need to pull ourselves back up and keep working. It is the only way we will succeed.

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L. S. O’Dealink

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You’re welcome. Glad you liked it.

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You’re welcome. Hopefully, it helps someone else who is struggling.

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Thanks. I’m glad you like the posts and thanks for reading and commenting.

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Hope it helps some other writers know that we all feel this way sometimes.

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12/19/2015 1:38am

thank you to everyone who has read this article and posted a comment. I hope it helps others who are struggling with life and writing or just life.

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EPISODE 2 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD

09/01/2015

2 Comments

 

Again, I was not disappointed by Fear the Walking Dead.  It’s not great, but it isn’t bad either.  If you have not seen the episode, then stop reading because spoilers are on the way. First, let me detail what I appreciated about this episode, the “good” so to speak. I like that this series is showing a little about the “extended” families of our times, although, they are keeping it limited.  For example, Travis goes to find his ex-wife and his son (extended family from his and Maddie’s life) but what about Maddie or Travis’ parents, siblings, etc.  I suppose they both could be orphans, only children or the rest of their family could live in other states, but this is something that zombie shows tend to ignore.  So, although they only brush over it with one small branch of the extended family that most of us enjoy/tolerate (your choice), I do appreciate the effort. I also give them credit for finding a plausible reason for the separation of the main group (Maddie, Travis, Nick and Alicia).  By making Nick a drug addict who is sobering up, it gives us a real reason why Maddie and her two kids don’t just ride along with Travis when he goes to find his son and ex-wife.  It isn’t easy to create plausible reasons for groups to separate.  They even get bonus points for Maddie leaving her kids to get the drugs for Nick.  These are both very realistic and believable reasons to separate.  Kudos to the writers.  Maybe, they can give some believability tips to the writers of The Walking Dead. I also like the fact that the zombies/walkers are harder to kill.  Maddie has to hit the principal in the head over and over to kill him.  This makes perfect sense.  His skull would still be very hard since he is recently dead.  I just hope that they stick with this level of difficulty.  In The Walking Dead sometimes it takes a lot of effort to smash in a walker’s head and other times they hit the zombie in the head with something as soft as a marshmellow and the skull explodes.  Just to be clear, this is not the case of a recently dead walker and a mushy one.  It is just poor writing, planning or sticking to their rules (maybe a combination of all three).  So, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this series will stay true to the rules that they setup. Now, let’s discuss the issues I had with this episode.  Fortunately, these are all minor.    1.        Who cleans up vomit—scrubbing the floor on hands and knees mind you–without tying their long, pretty hair back?  Alicia would have at least put it up in a quick bun.  She would not have wanted her hair slipping into the yuck on the floor. (not a big deal here, but it did pull me out of the story a bit). 2.       When Nick was trying to keep Alicia from leaving, his accent slipped.  He sounded very British.  Lazy editing.  They should have made him do that scene again. 3.       Why didn’t Tobias take the food?  They killed the walker.  The food was right there.  I can write this one off as these are not experienced survivalist, like in The Walking Dead, but still….he came back to the school for his knife and food.  Why leave the food?  Plus, unless we go back to the food later, what was the point.  They could have bumped into the principal on their way out without going for the food. 4.       Why didn’t Tobias leave with Maddie?  In episode one he states that they are safer in groups.  Even if his mom was home, he should have asked her to go with them to Maddie’s house.  There is safety in numbers and Tobias is aware of that.  For me, this is the biggest “plot” hole.  It is almost like they forgot what Tobias said in episode one.  Even if his dialogue was really just for us, there was no reason that he couldn’t have went with Maddie.  If nothing else, it is one more person we can feel something for who will eventually die. Okay, that’s all I have except I’m going to make a prediction that Maddie doesn’t live through this season.  I could be wrong.  I usually am, at least when I’m guessing on what’s going to happen in The Game of Thrones.  The only reason that I am predicting this is that I think the actor who plays Maddie has good zombie features.  Did anyone else notice that the guy who played the principal looked a bit like a zombie before he died?  In this series they are not relying on a lot of make-up for the walkers, but instead are using facial structure.  Hence my prediction.  Let’s see if I’m right.

2 Comments

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09/22/2015 5:39pm

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L. S. O’Dea

12/19/2015 1:40am

Me too. However, I’m glad that they don’t really exist. As much as I love animals, I like being at the top of the food chain.

Post From Old Website – March 2015

My old website was a Weebly site and as of today there is no way to import my old blog posts from Weebly to Word Press.  So, I’m going to post them here.

The dates will be off, but the content will be the same.

I DON’T GET PEOPLE

03/29/2015

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I’m running an ad campaign on BookDaily, so I’ve been spending a bit more time there than usual.  Since, with the ad, I am now and “emerging author”, I was taking a look at some of the other books in all the genres.  I saw one that interested me so I clicked on it to read more about it.

The description was short, but still, I thought it might be something that I’d like to read, so I clicked on the button for the Kindle edition.  The Amazon web page launched and the price for the Kindle edition is $6.99.  What is this author thinking?  Does he/she not want to sell many books?  I wouldn’t pay $6.99 for a Kindle version of a book by George R. R. Martin or J. K. Rowlings let alone some unknown author.

You could say that maybe this author just wants the book out there, but then why is he/she advertising it on BookDaily? The advertising there is not cheap.

When I first launched my book, I was coaxed into the $2.99 price so that I could earn 70% of the profits instead of 30% (my books are in the KDP program), but I realized that I wasn’t selling anything.  Sure, a few friends forked over the three bucks but that was it.  So, I’ve lowered the price to 99 cents and have been selling a few.

Now, it is not my business what others price their book(s) but I have to wonder how they think they are going to sell any at the higher prices.  The book may be wonderful but who’s going to give it a chance for seven dollars?

I am going to contact BookDaily and suggest that they show the price on the mouse-over because I wouldn’t even go to the website to read the excerpt for a book priced that high.  Now, I know that will make BookDaily’s stats look worse (CTR), however, as a reader, I am not going to use BookDaily too often if I take the time to read the excerpt (sample chapter) and then when I go to Amazon the book is priced too high (for me).  This could be why BookDaily is not one of the top promoters at least according to us authors.  Browse any of the author forums and you’ll see that 99% of the comments state that BookDaily does not deliver in sales.  This could be why.  As a reader, I don’t want to become interested in a book just to not buy it because it is priced way too high.

I’d love to hear what anyone else thinks on the matter.

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New Word Press Site

Hi Everyone,

Please excuse the mess. I’m in the process of converting my old website to a Word Press website and it ain’t pretty.

I’m also working on Lake of Sins: Betrayed (second revision) and the final (hopefully) revision of Lake of Sins: Hangman’s Army (book 3 in the series).

And then, in my spare time, I’ll be taking an online marketing course along with my day job and taking care of my critters.

Hope everything is going well for everyone and be back to post my twisted little thoughts later 🙂