A Slice of Orange


Putting Words to Paper by Ralph Hieb

August 13, 2022 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group

The reason I write is for my pleasure. The joy of putting thoughts from my head down on paper is thrilling, especially if it is in a story that is enjoyable.

I can take a scene of combatants and put that heat of battle into the mind of the reader. They can imagine every swing of a sword or the sudden blast as a gun spews its lethal venom at an adversary. When done right, you can smell the odor of spent powder. Maybe the fragrant scent of a flower as it sends out its invitation to a pollinating insect. The mind can smell what the mind imagines. A powerful tool for me to utilize.

The images that can be placed on a sheet of paper have no limits. I can find myself, in the form of my characters, sailing a ship on the high seas or flying through the depths of space. Sometimes being lowered by rope to explore uncharted caverns in the Earth’s crust. There are times I would think that the story is a memoir of times when I was existing in another realm.

There are scenes that can describe sweet flowers blooming in a meadow on a mountain, the warmth of the sun with its brightness making the world magical. Or the chill of wandering through a forest with tall trees, their branches blocking the sun from reaching the ground, the dampness of rotting vegetation seeping to the very bones of a person. These places are hard to find but easy to come across with a description from the vision in my mind.

You might think that these are strange thoughts coming from a person who generally writes paranormal. However, not all the tales I have written contain ghosts, vampires, werewolves, or the other creatures that might go bump in the night. Sometimes I do dream of having a log cabin in the mountains situated at the edge of a lake with good fishing. These dreams need to find a home on paper along with the Dennison’s of dark imagination.

There are also times I sit down to write, and the words or ideas refuse to come to the surface of my thoughts. These are times I write just to scribble. These are things that make no sense whatsoever. It is only to keep my fingers on the keyboard and stop me from checking my social media accounts, going through my e-mail, or browsing stories that the news media thinks are important. These are times when only playing on the keyboard will, hopefully, bring ideas forth.

So, there you have it. My thoughts on writing putting words or ideas down for not only myself to enjoy, but, I hope, for others to see the visions laid out on paper or electronic device for them to imagine along with me.

Ralph’s Books


Buy now!


Buy now!
FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales


Buy now!


Buy now!


Buy now!
0 0 Read more

What’s All The Hype Over Keywords?

August 12, 2022 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , ,

We’ve all heard these statements: Use keywords in your blog posts. Up your SEO game with the right keywords. Keywords are the key. Keywords matter. So what is all the hype over keywords?

Hype Over Keywords Blog banner with words What's All the Hype Over Keywords by Denise M. Colby and other side with back side open laptop

Here’s a simple definition:

Keywords are used in digital marketing to describe a word or group of words someone types in a search engine/search bar to perform a search.

As writers we use that search bar all the time for our research.

And that’s how our readers use the search bar too.

So when we write a blog post – think what your reader would possibly type in their search bar to find what you are writing. And use your search bar to test the keywords you are selecting.

The hype over keywords is no joke

Have you ever searched for something and had to change the wording several times to finally get to what you were looking for? That’s the keyword organization going on. The search engines have specific formulas to organize and index everything on the internet. When someone performs a search, they want to find relevant content.  And why businesses in the SEO and search engine business hype the use of keywords all the time. And teach what they can on the subject. The better everyone uses keywords, the more organized internet content will be.

How do you write keywords?

Keywords are tricky. You can’t use the same ones twice. If you do, they sort of cancel each other out when being indexed. So, when you use only one word, it limits using that word ever again. So using two words and varying one of them for different scenarios would be a good strategy.

Another strategy is to not use words too broad or too narrow. Again, think about the terms you use when searching for similar topics. You want to land on the first page of the search. The more you research, you’ll start to see how to tweak and tailor your keywords to better fit.

Other tips for writing strong keywords

  • Make sure posts and pages are focused and related to only ONE main idea. When you figure out your keyword FIRST, you write your blog post differently.
  • Include your keywords in your title, first paragraph, a subhead or two, and the body text
  • Use other relatable words that support the main topic through the post/page
  • Include pictures that represent your keywords and add your keywords into the alt text
  • Keywords can be tied into your Category and Tag strategy as well, especially if it’s a topic you cover frequently
  • You could use your keyword phrase as your slug to keep things simple

Interested in learning more about SEO? Check out my Using a Blog SEO Checklist to Streamline Your Blog Post and/or sign up for my Marketing for Authors newsletter on my website.

SEO Keywords and Marketing for Authors Logo - Teal, black and white text with a light bulb and MfA over it. By Denise M. Colby

0 0 Read more

Happy 3rd Birthday to my publisher Boldwood Books by Jina Bacarr

August 11, 2022 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , ,


Happy 3rd Birthday to #boldwoodbooks #booktok #boldwoodbirthday @bookandtonic

♬ original sound – Jina Bacarr


I was a shy kid growing up… glasses, pigtails, my nose in a book, but I came alive on stage. I think that’s because there I could be someone else who wasn’t always the ‘new kid’.

You see, I went to fifteen schools growing up.

But there was one thing constant in my life on every birthday no matter in which state we lived.

My mother’s butter vanilla cake.

Every birthday Mom made me a cake from scratch. Sometimes milk chocolate icing, or lemon or coconut , but always that soul-melty butter cake. Sweet but not too sweet, smooth, silky cake and dollops and gobs of yummy buttercream frosting.

So this year when my publisher BOLDWOOD BOOKS asked us authors to do a video to celebrate the phenomenal success of the company on their 3rd birthday, I so wanted to make Mom’s butter vanilla cake but–

For the past three weeks, I’ve been obsessed with finishing my next Paris/Berlin WW2 novel (many all-nighters) — handing in the manuscript, then working on the edits from the best editor a writer could ever have. Amazing lady who challenges me to write the best books I can. I’ve been with Nia Beynon from the beginning of my Boldwood Books’ journey and she’s the best.

I’m proud to say I’m the first American author they signed in 2019.

On this fab occasion, I want to wish Team Boldwood a very happy 3rd birthday!!

I hope you enjoy my birthday video — I shot the vid at my local fancy bakery…

And if you look close enough, you’ll see that little girl in an insert in the video… with glasses and pigtails wound on top of her head.



Paris 1940

The Lost Girl in Paris

My heroine, Angeline de Cadieux, is a Roma girl in WW2 Paris… she’s strong, fights in the Resistance… makes exquisite perfumes and comes up with an amazing marketing campaign during the war to boost morale in France.

Thank you!

UK https://amzn.to/3j7eU6S

US https://amzn.to/3aD9Jae

CA https://amzn.to/3IbaVRZ

AU https://amzn.to/3xtrF1A

The Resistance Girl

Juliana discovers her grandmamma was a famous French film star in Occupied Paris & her shocking secret…

US https://amzn.to/2FoKKeS 

UK https://amzn.to/3bU18Qv  

CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08DNDHDG4

AU https://amazon.com.au/dp/B08DNDHDG4 


The Runaway Girl

Once upon the ship of dreams… me dressed as a first class lady



US https://amzn.to/30yll8P

UK https://amzn.to/2NCqTty







US https://amzn.to/3zGPmmI

UK https://t.co/kX3e1A4lJm

0 0 Read more

Release Date and 365 Days of Apartment Living and Time with Milo

August 10, 2022 by in category Writing tagged as ,

Woo hoo! I’m so excited. Love and Mud Puddles will release on November 30th! And yes, there will be Christmas cookies, and holiday celebrations. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes, playing games and giving prizes in my facebook reader group Tari Lynn and Friends, and in my newsletter. I hope you’ll join us for the festivities. In the meantime, here’s the book blurb and cover to whet your appetite.

Hannah loves her accounting job, the condo that she purchased herself, and her best friend Melinda. What she doesn’t love is baking. To be fair, she’s never tried. But when her cousin shames her into bringing homemade cookies to the family Christmas Eve celebration, she begins a quest to make the perfect holiday cookie.Paramedic Josh also occasionally teaches kids’ cookie baking classes at his family’s bakery. When a beautiful accountant mistakenly signs up for a children’s holiday baking class, he realizes immediately that she’s in the right place.Can this local hero help to save Hannah’s Christmas? Or will it all go up in smoke?

And did I mention that I was moving…well we did, but not to Arizona, I mean all of our stuff is in Arizona, but I couldn’t leave the grandbaby yet. We decided to stay a year so that he doesn’t have to go to daycare, and will be able to go to preschool when he turns two, with my daughter-in-law who is a preschool teacher. So we rented an apartment for the next year…I haven’t lived in an apartment since my first apartment at 18 years old, which I lived in for 1 year, so…on to the next adventure. You can follow my posts 365 Days of Apartment Living and Time with Milo on Instagram if you’re interested!

2 0 Read more

Neetu Malik: August Featured Author

August 7, 2022 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , ,
picture of Neetu Malik

Neetu Malik’s poetry is an expression of life’s rhythms and the beat of the human spirit. She draws upon diverse multicultural experiences and observations across three continents in which she has lived. She has contributed to The Australia Times Poetry Magazine, October Hill Magazine, Prachya Review, among others. Her poems have appeared in The Poetic Bond Anthology V and VI published by Willowdown Books, UK,  NY Literary Magazine’s Tears Anthology  and Poetic Imagination Anthology (Canada).

Her poem, “Soaring Flames”, was awarded First-Place by the NY Literary Magazine (2017). She has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, 2019 for her poem “Sacred Figs” published by Kallisto Gaia Press in their Ocotillo Review in May, 2018.

Neetu lives in Pennsylvania, USA.

You can find Neetu’s poetry in these volumes.

Hover on the cover for buy links. Click on the cover for more information.



Buy now!


Buy now!


Buy now!

0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM