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The Secret Babies of Dachau by Jina Bacarr

January 11, 2022 by in category Holocaust, Jina’s Book Chat, Paris, Paris novels, perfume, Reading, Writing tagged as , , , ,

(The video above takes place on a train in 1944 Germany — my heroine, Angeline, is very pregnant and on her way back to Auschwitz with two SS guards…)

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Nothing is more heartbreaking than holding a newborn baby in your arms and it doesn’t cry.

The anguish, holding your breath while you wait for that first sign of life, the tears that fall upon your cheeks as you pray for that lovely, beautiful cry.

Then… a burst from the baby’s lungs and a heart-swelling joy overcomes you when the infant’s wail fills the air like an angels’ choir.

But what if you’re pregnant and imprisoned in a concentration camp in Southern Germany? A place where American soldiers were so devastated by the horror they found when they neared the camp, they wept when they liberated Dachau on April 29, 1945.

They discovered more than thirty railroad cars filled with dead bodies.

What if you were imprisoned there? Would you have lived? The odds were against you if you were a soon-to-be-mother.

It’s well documented the chances for survival for pregnant women and their babies in the camps was practically zero. They were immediately singled out for execution when they arrived.

It pains me to write this, but Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, was determined to exterminate all Jewish children (he proclaimed his policy in a secret speech in Poland on October 6, 1943).

As many as 1.5 million Jewish children died in the Holocaust.

Thanks to survivors’ stories and seven Jewish mothers from Hungary, we have the miracle of the Dachau babies. How for reasons never made clear, these mothers were allowed to live and brought to a sub-camp of Dachau in the waning days of the war known as Kaufering I.

And how under horrific conditions (no hot water, no instruments for the prisoner/doctor), they delivered seven healthy babies from December 1944 to April 1945 when fate stepped in and dealt them a cruel blow… I shan’t spoil it for you, but I promise you, I followed these events as they happened in ‘The Lost Girl in Paris’.

My heroine, Angéline de Cadieux, was there and very pregnant.

How did this Frenchwoman born Roma find herself in a concentration camp with Hungarian mothers-to-be? It was a challenge to orchestrate the series of events that bring her there… counting the days of her pregnancy in Paris, being honest to the unsanitary, degrading conditions found in the camps, the treatment of Roma by the Third Reich. Few have written about the Roma Holocaust and how anywhere from 220,000 to half a million Romani people died at the hands of the Nazis.

I admit it was a tremendous undertaking bringing all this to my story. I spent many sleepless nights trying to bring justice to these unbelievable women who not only survived the camps, but had the courage to tell their stories.

I have tried to tell one woman’s story albeit fiction, but everything Angéline de Cadieux experiences in the camps is based on truth.

So, my friends, cry as I did, become angry these events ever happened, but most of all, never forget.

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THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS is now available across all platforms.

Available in e-book, print and audio

The Lost Girl in Paris universal link: https://books2read.com/u/3LyrdN

It’s the story of woman who survived both Auschwitz and Dachau, but never spoke about it until she meets a young reporter named Emma Keane who touches a nerve in her that now is the time to speak about those times. Her memories are as vivid to this eighty-year-old as if she were the seventeen-year-old girl who ran away to Paris to become a parfumier after losing her mother to the Nazi war machine.

I wrote THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS to pay tribute to the strong women who survived the Holocaust and willingly shared their stories with us. The horror of Nazi brutality, the loss of family, their dignity… but also about their strength just to ‘survive another day’.

And the strong bonds with their sisters-in-arms they formed with fellow prisoners. How they learned to trust each other and stood up against the enemy to save each other.

We must never forget.

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Here is a second short excerpt from THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS:

 

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 The LOST GIRL IN PARIS is part of the ‘Get Inspired’ promotion in UK, AU, and NZ

New Zealand: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/the-lost-girl-in-paris-1

UK: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-lost-girl-in-paris-1

AU: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/the-lost-girl-in-paris-1

 

 

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Featured Author: Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC

January 7, 2022 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Contests, Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , , , ,

About Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC

The Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC (BWG), is a community of mutually supportive fiction and nonfiction authors based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The members are as different from each other as their stories. BWG also publishes quality fiction through their online literary journal, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, and their award-winning  A Sweet, Funny, and Strange Anthology series.

Each anthology has an overall theme—broadly interpreted—but includes a variety of genres. All but the first anthology include stories from the winner(s) of The Bethlehem Writers Short Story Award.

Their first anthology, A Christmas Sampler: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales (2009), won two Next Generation Indie Book Awards: Best Anthology and Best Short Fiction.

Fur, Feathers, and Scales: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales is the latest in A Sweet, Funny, and Strange Anthology. BWG is proud to report this title also won two Next Generation Indie Book Awards: Best e-Book and Best Cover Design (Fiction).

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About Fur, Feathers and Scales

The award-winning “Sweet, Funny, and Strange” series of anthologies from the Bethlehem Writers Group, continues with this collection of twenty-five tales about real, legendary, or imaginary animals. From snakes to ducks to unicorns, there are tales here to match any mood, provide a chuckle, or warm a heart.

Among our tales, Peter Barbour recounts a legend in “Why Bats Live in Caves,” Jerome W. McFadden asks the question of what animal to choose to be in “Recycled,” A. E. Decker shares an appreciation of cephalopods in “Tipping Point,” Ralph Hieb imagines an unconventional pet in “Buttons,” and Diane Sismour, in “Critter,” reveals that mules are not the only equines that can have a stubborn streak.

In addition, we are happy to present the winning stories from the 20 I 9 and 2020 Bethlehem Writers Roundtable Short Story Awards. Angela Albertson, our 20I9 winner, shares her heartfelt “Oranges and Roses,” and our 2020 winner, Brett Wolff, gives us a good laugh in “Hubbard Has a Fancy Bra.”

This eclectic assemblage of stories includes terrific tales from beloved BWG authors including Courtney Annicchiarico, Jeff Baird, Jodi Bogert, Marianne H. Donley, DT Krippene, Emily P. W. Murphy, Christopher D. Ochs, Dianna Sinovic, Kidd Wads­worth, Paul Weidknecht, Carol L. Wright, and Will Wright.

So cuddle up with your favorite pet-real or imaginary. No matter. You’ll find just the right story to share.


Next up for BWG

A bird on a tree branch

BWG is working on their Seventh anthology, An Element of Mystery: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales of Intrigue.

In connection with this anthology, they are hosting The Bethlehem Writers 2022 Short Story Award

The 2022 Short Story Award will open on January 1, 2022. The theme will be An Element of Mystery (broadly interpreted).

BWG is seeking never-published short stories of 2,000 words or fewer.  First Place will receive $250 and publication in their upcoming anthology: An Element of Mystery: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales of Intrigue or in Bethlehem Writers Roundtable.

The final judge of the 2022 Short Story Award is New York Times best-selling author Kate Carlisle


Books from Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC

Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC

The Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC (BWG), founded in 2006, is a community of mutually supportive, fiction and nonfiction authors based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The members are as different from each other as their stories, spanning a range of genres including: children’s, fantasy, humor, inspiration, literary, memoir, mystery, paranormal, romance, science fiction, women’s fiction, and young adult.

See the schedule of meetings and events here.


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New Year…New Goals

January 5, 2022 by in category Writing

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  

I have a very important question for you.  Are you ready to make this year your best writing year?  I hope you answered, yes.  If so, then I challenge you to take this year long journey with me.

I spent a good portion of last year getting schooled in self-publishing.  I have been a self-published author since December 2014, but there are some things I didn’t know.  Like some authors, I have yet to reach all of my writing goals.  Today, I’m going out on a limb announcing this is the year I work on making some those goals a reality.  I know it sounds like a resolution, but it isn’t.  It’s a statement of faith and a declaration that I’m ready to take my writing to the next level.

So what are the self-publishing goals I’m going to attack this year? 

Get my letters (make a list)I know it really doesn’t matter to readers if their favorite author is a bestseller, but it means a lot to the author.  At least it does to me.  In the past, I didn’t care if I ever made a list or had the title of Best Selling Author.  Over the course of time I realized, I did.  It’s not an ego thing, it’s a validation thing.  I know I’m not Nora Roberts, Terry McMillian, E L James or Sylvia Day, but it sure would be nice to be known as a best seller like them.

Triple my income…This is a big one.  I’m not sharing numbers yet.  We’ll see how this year long challenge ends before discussing numbers.  All I’ll say on the matter is if I fulfill this goal, it will be the first time I’ve earned that much money.  Last year I did two major conferences, gained a lot of knowledge and some tools on how to push my sales and exposure up a few levels.  This is the year I put all of those tools to work.  

Triple my mailing listThis is almost as daunting as tripling my income.  I have a decent mailing list of 3200+.  However, I want to push that number up.  A larger list will allow me or make me more attractive for swaps with other writers.  I was surprised how many authors are open to swaps, but size matters and I can understand.  You don’t want your swaps to be one sided.  Swaps will allow me to increase my list.  It will also allow give me some clout when seeking out anthologies to join.  Bringing more readers to the table makes me an asset and not a liability. 

Master Facebook ads…I did Skye Warren’s Facebook ads class last year and saw significant growth in my sales.  I’m doing it again this year and expect the results to be even better.  Here’s what I learned about Facebook ads…the system is constantly changing so you always need a refresher.  I did Mark Dawson’s class, which was good.  However, Skye’s class was a lot easier to understand.  Within the first month I saw results.  I was surprised how much could  be achieved with five dollars a day.  This year, I’m going to kick it up a few dollars and see what happens.  FYI, this will also help with me tripling my income goal.

Update Covers…This is one of those areas I think is constantly changing.  I am about to embark on the third iteration of covers for my series A Southern Gentleman.  Why you ask?  Because I didn’t know manchest equaled or implied sex.  I thought you used a shirtless guy to sell a book.  I didn’t realize it implied a certain heat level.  Book one in the series is sex free.  Book two is a completely different story.  

I learned a little about covers which has caused me to review all of my books and see if the covers match the heat content.  Unfortunately there are a few that need to be changed.  The other reason for the cover change is, Facebook.  They don’t like manchest…it’s too hot.  I hear you saying, “how is that possible when manchest covers are constantly popping up in my Facebook feed.”  Simple answer…the bot.  The Facebook bot randomly picks and chooses covers it likes.  Unfortunately for me, the bot doesn’t like my manchest cover making it impossible to use in ads.  I found a work around, but I don’t want to have to use it constantly.  The real solution is new covers.  To prove their dislike for my cover, they shut my account down for a moment.  Lesson learned.  So now I’m working on new covers with a clothed man.  The other thing I learned about covers in my genres (African American Contemporary and Billionaire Romance) is a woman only cover doesn’t sell as well as a man only or a couple cover.

Learn how to write a sellable blurb…What is it about authors and blurbs?  We can write a hundred thousand word book, but can’t sum it up in three short lines.  I’m not going to stress about this. I was introduced to a service that could help me.  But first I really need to figure this out.  

Use Ingram Spark…I did a little experiment last year.  I ordered a set of proofs from Ingram Spark and a set from KDP.  I loved the proofs from Ingram.  Everything I heard about Ingram was true, the quality was far superior.  I loved the books.  As much as I want to use Ingram exclusively, I can’t.  KDP doesn’t really like to share, so here’s my work around.  Set up ebook, print, large print and hardcover at KDP and likewise at Ingram.  This move with will allow   expanded distribution.  More outlets…more money.  Another step towards that increased income goal.  Another added pro to use Ingram, the proofs don’t have that ugly proof strip on the cover like KDP. 

Direct Distribution…I’m a wide author, but I use a third party for Nook and some international outlets.  I just found out doing this, has kept me from participating in Nook promotions.  Going direct will allow me to participate in some NOOK promos.  More promotions equals more exposure…more sales…increased income.

Increase my prices…I was at a conference a few months ago and this came up.  I was a little hesitant about doing this, because some of my books are less than ten thousand words.  So in a bold move…except for a couple of preorders, I made all of my books the same price $4.99.  Amazon still hasn’t updated all of the prices, but I’ve seen sales at the other outlets with the new prices.  This move taught me to get out of my way.

I have a few more goals, but these are the ones I’m going to focus on this year.  What about you?  What are your author goals for the year?

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Editing Your Novel Together

January 3, 2022 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , ,

The Post Outline

by E.J. Williams

(Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger)

Writing together as E. J. Williams, husband and wife, Will Zeilinger and Janet Elizabeth Lynn author the INTERNATIONAL CRIME FILES, a hardboiled/thriller detective series that takes the reader to 1960s southern California, then on to international locales.

          Even after you’ve written the best book in the world, the pesky task of editing rears its ugly head! To those of you who love editing…our hats are off to you. We have come up with several suggestions that may help ease the editing process, whether you are editing your book for your editor, publisher, agent, or yourself.

          The post outline is the first thing we do once we feel the book is complete. By going back through the manuscript (ignoring the pre outline if you do one) helps to see where some of the holes or gaps in the sub and main plot line are. After a week break, we sit down and take portions to re-outline, i.e. one of us works the even chapters the other the odd chapters. Issues with the manuscript seem to jump out at you with this. We then meet and figure out how to work out each problem. With both of us working on it, it goes real fast.

          Though this mind-numbing task is necessary, it can bring about a great deal of pride when the process is complete. As a couple who write together, we have found these tips work well whether you are working alone or with someone.

And yes…we are still married!

Website:  Janet  Elizabeth Lynn    

Website:  Will Zeilinger           

Some of Janet’s and Will’s Novels

DESERT ICE

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DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

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GAME TOWN

STRANGE MARKINGS

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STRANGE MARKINGS

SLICK DEAL

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SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

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SLIVERS OF GLASS

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Chatting with Nikki Prince by Jann Ryan

January 2, 2022 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , , , , ,

Jann Ryan is taking a much earned break. We’ll be running some of her past interviews while she’s off. Hope you enjoy this chat with Nikki Prince as much as we all did.

Today, I’m happy to be chatting with author, Nikki Prince. Nikki is a mother of two, who always had a dream to be a published author. Her passion lies in raising her children, gaming, reading and writing.  She has two Masters, one in English and the other in Creative Writing concentration in fiction.

Nikki’s a multi-published author with several publishing houses. She loves to write Interracial romances in all genres but wants to let everyone know to not box her in because there is always room for growth.  Nikki believes that love should truly be color blind and for all.

Nikki’s a member of Romance Writers of America National, DARA, and several online chapters.

Author Links

Website 
Instagram
Facebook Page 
Facebook Group
Twitter

Bakersfield Romance Writers Links

Facebook Group
Facebook Page
Instagram 
Twitter 
Website: coming soon


Jann Ryan: Since 2012, you have published seventeen books, earned a BA and MA in English and Creative Writing, active in several Romance Writers of America chapters, moved twice all while raising two wonderful children. Wow—how did you do it all?

Nikki Prince: It’s actually about 25 books and I earned another Masters in Literature during this time frame.  My two teens have been a great help as well as inspiration for me because I want them to know that anything is possible in their life as long as they go for it. 

I went back to school in 2014 and garnered the BA, and two MA’s in a 3-year span and have maintained a 3.9 GPA.  I’ve been wanting to write since I was 11 years old.  I finally made that dream a reality when I turned 43 and realized it is never too late to do what you’ve always wanted to do.  Writing and reading has been a passion for since I first found romance books at age 11.  Before finding my grandmother’s romances, and Johanna Lindsey on my father’s dresser I hated to read. 

Reading helped me in so many ways, you see I had a learning disability.  However, once I found romance books and started reading that all changed for me and the only inkling of a disability that I still have is in math which is another part of the brain.  Reading and writing saved my life in so many ways and knowing that I can bring joy to someone else from reading the worlds and characters that I build is so satisfyingly wonderful.  Another shining part in my writing and real life is belonging to RWA it is a wonderful community where writers of like minds can be together to nurture one another.

Jann Ryan: It’s Complicated debut in April of 2018. A reviewer declared it was a “steamy, intriguing romance.” Another said it was “friends with benefits until it goes sideways.” You have two great characters, Ashton Locke and Keiko Jarrett. For our readers who may not have found this incredible book tell us about it.

Nikki Prince: I’ve had this thought of creating a bunch of friends for who all intents and purposes are the best of girlfriends with great guy friends.  Three sets of friends and the desire to be together and yet there is something holding them back.  Ashton and Keiko’s love story has a few twists along the way to get to the HEA, because everyone deserves a happy ever after.

Jann Ryan: When can we read the next Nikki Prince novel?

Nikki Prince: The last story that I had come out is a short called Blurred Lines, and it came out June 2019.  I am working on edits for the second book in the Undeniable Series with  Áine Reid and Darian Tisdale in a story called “It’s Work” and following that the next story which is Emmerson Collins and Royce Hanson’s story called, “It’s Real.”  Beyond that I have a lot of stories still left in me to write.  Stories that may be paranormal, contemporary and love between the same gender, opposite gender, interracial mix or same racial mix as I believe everyone’s story should be told.

Jann Ryan: Have you ever suffered writer’s block? If so, how did/do you get past it?

Nikki Prince: Indeed, I have.  I know there are some that say that writer’s block is imaginary.  In some ways I think that is true because there is inspiration to write everywhere.  However, there are times when the brain doesn’t want to function and let you put out the stories as you have before.  Because let’s face it, life can be messy it is one of the reasons most of us read romance is because it lets us get out of our own heads, our own lives and for a moment in time live a life of beauty. 

How I get past it is I game (I play World of Warcraft have since 2006), I spend time with my children, Travel somewhere different , read something else and sometimes a nap will rejuvenate the mind and spirit.   When I moved to Dallas last year in 2018 it was hard to get a chance to write and for me that was a block, however if it is in you to write and to create it never goes away so here I am.

Jann Ryan: What are you doing now between writing and life?

Right now I am working on putting together a writing community here in Bakersfield, California.  I knew when I moved here that RWA wasn’t represented here and I want to change that.  So far I have about 7 other people within the group.  I hope to gain more so that I can apply for Bakersfield Romance Writers to be a full chapter of the Romance Writers of America.  I am also in grad school for a third Masters.  This is a Masters in Marketing and Social Media.  I’m taking my time with this MA as I already have two and there is no rush, besides I have plenty of stories within me that I want to share with the world.

Jann Ryan: What’s your writing day like?

My writing day really depends.  Between having two teens in High School, being in grad school and looking for a full-time job here in Bakersfield (I’ve only been here since June), I write wherever and whenever I can.  That has always been the way of it since 2012.  I love writing and creating so I will write at night, in the afternoon, and in the morning.  Whatever it takes to get the stories done, I’ll do it.  One of the ways to do that is I love to do National Novel Writing Month (NanoWriMo) every November so that I can just immerse myself in my stories for a whole month.


A Few Books by Nikki Prince

#Me Too

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#Me Too

IT’S COMPLICATED

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IT’S COMPLICATED

ON ANGLE’S WINGS

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ON ANGLE’S WINGS

PURE ADRENALINE

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PURE ADRENALINE

SWAGGER

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SWAGGER
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