Sittin’ On The Porch With Kelly – Author Jack Strandburg – Setting up a Macro in Microsoft Word to Target Weak Words

Author Kelly Abell

Good Morning. I wish I could say that we were sitting on the porch today, but BRRR. So this morning I’m joined in my warm kitchen by Author/Editor Jack Strandburg. He offers some fantastic advice about targeting those useless words to make your manuscript read more smoothly. You don’t want to miss this chat session. Take it away, Jack.

I have two goals for this session today, Kelly.

One, I provide examples of how certain words, when eliminated or revised, will greatly improve the readability of a manuscript. This exercise applies to all forms of writing; novels, short stories, non-fiction, article, blogs, and essays.

Second, I provide step-by-step instructions for creating a macro in Word to highlight these words and reformat as you choose.

All authors have their own approaches to revision. Some read every word and sentence aloud in a slow and methodical fashion in hopes of hearing something…

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No Blog Views or Comments? Read this.

C.S. Wilde

So here I am, scrolling down my WordPress reader feed, sorting through the posts with the tag “Writing”, and then I find a bunch of brilliant writing with zero likes or comments.

Seriously, there’s a bunch of talented authors out there who are simply invisiblebecause they don’t know how social media works.

It’s all about engagement, people.

Anyway. I’m all about encouraging talented writers, so I go ahead and leave them a message. “Hey, great job!”, or “Hey, I liked this!”, and I click ‘like’ on their posts too, because their writing deserves some love.

And then I never hear back from those authors again. This is super common (specially amongst newbies).

Look, it’s a simple rule: Engage with your audience.

When someone reaches out to you, reach out to them, especially if they say they like your work. Check their blogs, figure out how they would…

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Probably The Most Disingenuous Blog Post In The World (With 45% Extra Lies)

Tara Sparling writes

It’s that time of year again, folks. Time for taking stock – and selling it off.

No sooner have you burped your last turkey-laced memory, realising you can’t even remember eating the last seven Quality Streets, than the ads start zinging at you thick and fast, telling you that you can get what you already have for a quarter of the price you paid for it.

It’s a terrible time. It’s the time of year that old, loyal customers get to feel like prize lemons. Despite sticking by their service providers all year, fly-by-night newbies are the new must-have thing. Only new customers matter. Old customers can go and boil their heads in a vat of brandy butter whilst being back-combed by a reindeer.

Probably The Most Disingenuous Blog Post In The World (With 45% Extra Lies)

I’m as bad. Over the last four months of 2015, this blog got a whole truckload of new followers. And so, in the grand tradition of lazy, linky blog…

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Author Jessica Strong Memorial Campaign – Sunday follow up

I put up a post on Tuesday December 22, 2015 about the sudden passing of author Jessica Strong who I knew through the Clean Indie Reads Facebook group.

In that post I outlined that the Clean Indie Reads group is pushing an effort to get our membership that are interested to do a little something in memory of her. On December 26th, as a little remembrance / coordinated effort to do something to honor her passing, we are going to buy her books all on that day.

Yesterday, December 26, 2015 was the main kick off to the Jess Strong Tribute event.

Buy Jess

My prior blog posts:

Bertie O’Brien and the Button Factory

John Henry and the Tornado

Unacceptable Behavior

Fearfully Made (Emma Shaw Book 1)

Reluctant Witness (Laura Cahill Book 1)

In $ We Trust (Laura Cahill Book 2)

====================================

DIRECT LINKS TO HER BOOKS ON AMAZON

Bertie O’Brien and the Button Factory: How Bertie O’Brien built a button factory slaying monsters

John Henry and the Tornado

Unacceptable Behavior

Fearfully Made (Emma Shaw Book 1)

Reluctant Witness (Laura Cahill Book 1)

In $ We Trust (Laura Cahill Book 2)

 

Here is how things have gone with the effort:

It’s important to note that these rankings change hourly and that at certain points they are different. Additionally reporting is skewed from four to eight hours. 

In $ We Trust (Laura Cahill Book 2)

BEFORE
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,069 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#242 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Financial
#2739 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Police Procedurals
#4779 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Police Procedurals
———————————————-
RECENTLY
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,233 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#47 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Financial
#594 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Police Procedurals
#770 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Police Procedurals

==============================================

Reluctant Witness (Laura Cahill Book 1)

BEFORE the event
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,419 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#3232 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Crime Fiction
#7549 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Crime
#13630 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery
———————————————-
RECENT RANKING
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,694 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#259 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Crime Fiction
#729 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Crime
#1161 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery

==============================================

Unacceptable Behavior

BEFORE the event
 Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,839 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#10972 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers
#15177 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery
#23248 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery
———————————————-
RECENT RANKING
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,089 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#1002 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery
#1104 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers
#1155 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery

==============================================

Fearfully Made (Emma Shaw Book 1)

BEFORE the event
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,149 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#227 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Medical
#289 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Medical
#588 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > International Mystery & Crime
———————————————-
RECENT RANKING
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,179 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#62 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers > Medical
#68 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Medical
#126 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Genetic Engineering

==============================================

John Henry and the Tornado

BEFORE the event
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,508 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#278 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children’s eBooks > Action & Adventure > Survival Stories
#1372 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children’s eBooks > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Family Life
#5707 in Books > Children’s Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Family Life
———————————————-
RECENT RANKING
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,171 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#34 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children’s eBooks > Action & Adventure > Survival Stories
#139 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children’s eBooks > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Family Life
#583 in Books > Children’s Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Family Life

==============================================

Bertie O’Brien and the Button Factory: How Bertie O’Brien built a button factory slaying monsters

BEFORE the event
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #356,740 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#1225 in Kindle Store >Kindle eBooks > Children’s eBooks > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Sword & Sorcery
#2233 in Books > Children’s Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Spine-Chilling Horror
#10643 in Books > Children’s Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy & Magic
———————————————-
RECENT RANKING
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,438 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#96 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children’s eBooks > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Sword & Sorcery
#124 in Books > Children’s Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Spine-Chilling Horror
#1224 in Books > Children’s Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy & Magic

Author Jessica Strong Memorial Campaign is TODAY

I put up a post on Tuesday December 22, 2015 about the sudden passing of author Jessica Strong who I knew through the Clean Indie Reads Facebook group.

In that post I outlined that the Clean Indie Reads group is pushing an effort to get our membership that are interested to do a little something in memory of her. On December 26th, as a little remembrance / coordinated effort to do something to honor her passing, we are going to buy her books all on that day.

Today is our Jess Strong Tribute event.

Buy Jess

My prior blog posts:

Bertie O’Brien and the Button Factory

John Henry and the Tornado

Unacceptable Behavior

Fearfully Made (Emma Shaw Book 1)

Reluctant Witness (Laura Cahill Book 1)

In $ We Trust (Laura Cahill Book 2)

====================================

DIRECT LINKS TO HER BOOKS ON AMAZON

Bertie O’Brien and the Button Factory: How Bertie O’Brien built a button factory slaying monsters

John Henry and the Tornado

Unacceptable Behavior

Fearfully Made (Emma Shaw Book 1)

Reluctant Witness (Laura Cahill Book 1)

In $ We Trust (Laura Cahill Book 2)

 

 

In $ We Trust (Laura Cahill Book 2) by Jessica Strong – Author

I put up a post on Tuesday December 22, 2015 about the sudden passing of author Jessica Strong who I knew through the Clean Indie Reads Facebook group.

In that post I outlined that the Clean Indie Reads group is pushing an effort to get our membership that are interested to do a little something in memory of her. On December 26th, as a little remembrance / coordinated effort to do something to honor her passing, we are going to buy her books all on that day.

As part of my own comments in that thread I said “I’d like to think we could get her to #1 with a coordinated effort such as this on Saturday 12/26…” “If I lived nearby and brought flowers or something to the family to say goodbye, I would spend so much more (and it would be equally worth it).”

So that is what I am going to do. I am going to log in at 9AM EST, “drop” $16.00, and get all her books.

Between now and then, I am going to showcase her books on my blog and on my author page over at Facebook.

This post is showcasing In $ We Trust (Laura Cahill Book 2)

Jess Strong we trust

SYNOPSIS: “Good morning, American! Meltdown!” Those were the words that greeted viewers as they turned on their TV’s on September 15th, 2008. The greatest recession since the great depression was announced.

Six years later when Gloria Moore had her own violent meltdown in a bank in New York City, four people were dead and another critically wounded. She told Assistant District Attorney Neal there needed to be accountability for the financial mess. She would plead guilty to whatever charges he brought against her as long as he investigated the cause of the market crash.

Reluctantly Barney Neal soon realizes that a jury may acquit once they know Gloria Moore’s personal story. If he wants to settle the case out of court, and keep markets steady, he will have to do as she asks.

Print Length is 342 pages, it was released on July 3, 2015 through Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (ASIN: B010Y0MAAS).

FOUR STAR REVIEW
Finance, Politics, and Suspense
By c-lu on July 21, 2015

Gloria Moore is an educated, upstanding citizen who, one day, after asking a question of a bank official, walks in an shoots 5 people, killing 4 and seriously injuring the 5th. Her biggest concerns are how her students will deal with what she has done and that she wasn’t able to take her own life. Even the cops who respond know from the start that there is something different about Gloria’s story. Asst. DA Laura feels the same, as does her boss, Barney. Gloria asks them to please investigate what happened in 2008 when the economy tanked and her husband committed suicide. Little do Laura and Barney know what they are getting into, or what they are dragging financial analyst Becky into. As Laura and Becky embark on a search for truth, they begin to realize that they may be stepping on political as well as financial landmines.

Strong provides the history of post-Depression Wall Street, the upside down mortgages and financial slight of hand that lead to the recession, and economic crisis for so many. She captures the emotions of those who were damaged in the process and their continued anger and resentment that no one person or persons was (were) held accountable. As Laura and Becky investigate, Strong adds the political climate, both in the police department with attempts to shut down the investigation and in Washington with powerful forces putting on the pressure locally The pressures only serve to increase the tension and make Laura and Becky more determined to find the answers they seek, potentially at significant personal cost. The main characters – Barney, Laura, and Becky, as well as Gloria – are well developed and multi-dimensional. Although the second in the series, this can be read as a stand alone.

Reluctant Witness (Laura Cahill Book 1) by Jessica Strong – Author

I put up a post on Tuesday December 22, 2015 about the sudden passing of author Jessica Strong who I knew through the Clean Indie Reads Facebook group.

In that post I outlined that the Clean Indie Reads group is pushing an effort to get our membership that are interested to do a little something in memory of her. On December 26th, as a little remembrance / coordinated effort to do something to honor her passing, we are going to buy her books all on that day.

As part of my own comments in that thread I said “I’d like to think we could get her to #1 with a coordinated effort such as this on Saturday 12/26…” “If I lived nearby and brought flowers or something to the family to say goodbye, I would spend so much more (and it would be equally worth it).”

So that is what I am going to do. I am going to log in at 9AM EST, “drop” $16.00, and get all her books.

Between now and then, I am going to showcase her books on my blog and on my author page over at Facebook.

This post is showcasing Reluctant Witness (Laura Cahill Book 1)

Jess Strong reluctant

SYNOPSIS: Assistant District Attorney Laura Cahill is assigned a double homicide that quickly develops into the biggest drug ring case in New York City within a decade. The investigation not only reveals the unexpected, but also opens up the lives of everyone it touches. As Laura starts to fall for their key witness, a brilliant young doctor with secrets of his own, she is taught painful lessons that her serious tone of mind has spared her from learning. As skeletons start coming out of the closets, Laura sees that serving the law can sometimes subvert the course of justice. Can she find a way to keep the closet door closed and still live with her conscience?

Print Length is 295 pages, it was released on July 9, 2011 through Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (ASIN: B005C1GCAY).

 

NEW RaffleCopter Giveaway from Author Jason Zandri

It’s Christmas Day, my kids are playing will all their stuff, and I just picked the winners from my last Rafflecopter Giveaway.

I had so much fun I’ve decided to run another one. There will be seven prizes and one GRAND PRIZE (so eight winners in total).

This time I am upping the ante on the grand prize:

FIVE DAY / FOUR NIGHT stay over Valentine’s Day weekend.

Here is the summary information on the prize (and the full details are at the end of the blog post).

Wyndham Ocean Boulevard
410 South Ocean Boulevard
North Myrtle Beach SC 29582
843-281-3300

CHECK IN –  Feb 11, 2016 after   4PM
CHECK OUT – Feb 15, 2016 before 10AM

FIVE DAY / FOUR NIGHT stay over Valentine’s Day weekend.
Room Type: 3 Bedroom Deluxe with 2 Bathrooms
Unit sleeps 8 in the rooms with 10 total within the unit (based on the unit).
Beds are – KING, Two doubles, KING, and Queen Sleeper Sofa
Units are between 1,200 and 1,400 SF in size (based on the unit).

There is no cost for the stay – the prize is the unit on the given days; you simply have to arrange to get yourself there.

 

In addition to this grand prize, I am also offering the following prizes:
ALL 6 KINDLE EDITIONS OF MY BOOKS (one winner will get all six)
KINDLE VERSION OF Before Another Sunset – Second Edition
KINDLE VERSION OF Another Sunset
KINDLE VERSION OF I, Hero: The Beginning
KINDLE VERSION OF I, Hero: Nathan Returns
KINDLE VERSION OF As Life Goes: Elementary
KINDLE VERSION OF As Life Goes: The End of the Innocence

All you have to do is enter the giveaway at Rafflecopter.

Some of the entry choices are worth more than others AND you can return each day to TWEET the giveaway for additional entries.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE!

EIGHT PRIZES Wyndham Ocean BLVD

(Here are all the extended details on the stay at my timeshare Wyndham Ocean Boulevard)

Wyndham Ocean BLVD

Here are the details on the unit and the resort:
Highlights:

Beachside Paradise with Award-Winning Flair. Wyndham Ocean Boulevard, located in North Myrtle Beach, blends stylish retro art deco design with modern beachside amenities and activities. This award-winning resort is close to many of Myrtle Beach’s most popular attractions, and has a big variety of on-site pleasures to make your beach side vacation complete.

Helpful Hints:
— Tower IV is across the street from the beach; all other towers are ocean side
— Vehicle recommended to fully enjoy area; parking is limited to one vehicle per unit
— This resort offers 24-hour secured and covered parking for motorcycles; however we are unable to provide parking for trailers. There are a number of locations nearby that offer trailer parking (fee).
— This resort is smoke free. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas. Not complying with these policy may result in the assessment of a fee.
— Wireless Internet is free for up to 4 devices, ideal for emails and basic web browsing. For more streaming and surfing options on unlimited devices, Enhanced High-Speed Wireless Internet is available for $9.95 per day, $49.95 for 6-10 days, and $59.95 for 11-30 days.
Information:

— Check-in time is after 4:00 p.m. The front desk is open 24 hours per day.
— Check-out time is 10:00 a.m.
— This resort offers 24-hour secured and covered parking for motorcycles; however we are unable to provide parking for trailers. There are a number of locations nearby that offer trailer parking for a nominal fee. Please call the resort for more information.
— As a courtesy to our non-smoking guests, smoking is not permitted at the resort. Thank you for your consideration.
— There are a limited amount of oceanfront units and views can not be guaranteed.
— Most resorts enforce a late check-out fee for any guests checking out past the check-out time.
— The resort reserves the right to assign a different unit of the same type and occupancy as confirmed with this confirmation.
— All guests are required to provide a Credit Card authorization for $150.00 or cash is required at time of check-in for a security deposit.

Mileage Between Wyndham Ocean Boulevard and…

— Charleston, S.C.: 112 miles
— Columbia, S.C.: 160 miles
— Edisto Beach, S.C.: 158 miles
— Charlotte, N.C.: 236 miles
Nearest Airport

— Myrtle Beach International Airport: 25 miles

Other Notes:
— Minimum Check-In Age for the CLUB WYNDHAM® Plus Program: The Member or Guest checking in must be at least 21 years of age with a valid ID.
— A credit card pre-authorization or cash deposit will be required upon check-in.
— The resort reserves the right to assign a different unit of the same type and occupancy as confirmed with this confirmation.
— Your safety is very important to us, so we closely follow local regulations for maximum occupancy per unit.
— A fee may be associated with some of the resorts amenities and activities. Please contact the resort for more details.
— Out of respect for all our guests, pets are not permitted. Please feel free to contact the resort prior to your arrival so that we may assist you in locating a local boarding facility.
— Service animals that are trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability are welcome at all affiliated locations.

 

RaffleCopter Giveaway 10 Prizes! 10 WINNERS! and here they are!

Straight from “LAST DAY – 10 Prizes! 10 WINNERS! RaffleCopter Giveaway” – here are the prizes and the winners:

10 PRIZES! 10 WINNERS!- Author ‎Giveaway‬
3 Amazon gift cards and 7 ‪‎Kindle‬ book prizes

All covers new second edition no Phases

$25 Amazon Gift Card – Jill Sappers

$15 Amazon Gift Card – Diane Perzon

$10 Amazon Gift Card – David Cameron

ALL 6 KINDLE EDITIONS OF MY BOOKS (one winner will get all six) – Melissa Jones

KINDLE VERSION OF Before Another Sunset – Second Edition Yanzhuo Wei

KINDLE VERSION OF Another Sunset Alexandra Costa

KINDLE VERSION OF I, Hero: The Beginning Elis Brockway

KINDLE VERSION OF I, Hero: Nathan Returns Jennifer Stinger

KINDLE VERSION OF As Life Goes: Elementary  – Jennifer Hinsman

KINDLE VERSION OF As Life Goes: The End of the Innocence Melissa Jade Greco

Congratulations to all the winners! I will be emailing you individually to let you know you have won with the email addresses that I have from your contest entries.

I had a great time with this giveaway – so much so that I am doing another one!

 

Fearfully Made (Emma Shaw Book 1) by Jessica Strong – Author

I put up a post on Tuesday December 22, 2015 about the sudden passing of author Jessica Strong who I knew through the Clean Indie Reads Facebook group.

In that post I outlined that the Clean Indie Reads group is pushing an effort to get our membership that are interested to do a little something in memory of her. On December 26th, as a little remembrance / coordinated effort to do something to honor her passing, we are going to buy her books all on that day.

As part of my own comments in that thread I said “I’d like to think we could get her to #1 with a coordinated effort such as this on Saturday 12/26…” “If I lived nearby and brought flowers or something to the family to say goodbye, I would spend so much more (and it would be equally worth it).”

So that is what I am going to do. I am going to log in at 9AM EST, “drop” $16.00, and get all her books.

Between now and then, I am going to showcase her books on my blog and on my author page over at Facebook.

This post is showcasing Fearfully Made (Emma Shaw Book 1)

Jess Strong fearfully

SYNOPSIS: (NOTE – Book was revised and Re-edited August 29, 2015).

Emma looked down at the sketch of the woman she knew was about to become their prime suspect.

“What does she have that I don’t?” The question came instantly to Emma’s mind. But she knew that whatever the answer was – she didn’t have ‘it’ – because Paul didn’t see it in her. The artist had said Emma and the ‘suspect’ were similar. But whatever made them the same could also be what made them different. Emma looked at the picture and frowned, she looked up at the scene around her; CSI, FBI, San Diego PD and the Fire Department. She looked back at the sketch. The two didn’t match. Why would someone who was that beautiful be a professional killer? Her looks would draw too much attention. But there was no way that Emma could explain that to Paul, or anyone else.

Emma thought of the words of the sketch artist.
“You look like her.” But they weren’t the same, were they?

Print Length is 340 pages, it was released on November 20, 2013 through Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (ASIN: B006PV7X12).