Thursday, September 19, 2019

Jingles: A Book Marketing Idea

Jingles are rhymes!

Jingles and slogans have been around for years.  Who can't finish the sentence: "My bologna has a first name..."?  Also, when we hear "we'll leave the light on for you," and "are you in good hands" our minds quickly identify the company in question.

Being a poet, I have found marketing is a pain. I do not have characters to discuss, no plots to offer teasers for, my books don't even have definite theme!  How can I promote!!  I can't share every poem as a sample. 

I thought about it and realized I could do what I did for blurbs.  (The other part of publishing a book that really sucks.)  I can write poems!  Just little verses to highlight my books!

Some of my first ones are:
Pictures of life
Painted in ink
Some make you laugh
Some make you think

Songs are really poems
Given a melody
Your heart will pick the tune
When you read my poetry

With pen and ink, I face the world
Let hopes and dreams again unfurl

Fresh cup of coffee
A sweet treat
A book of poetry
Makes break complete!

These work great when I am promoting more than one title.  But what about specific books?  Can I make something to entice readers to open them?  I decided to let the voices ponder the situation and see what they could come up with.  As is their want, they did not disappoint.
Dogs and fairies,
Gnomes and rhymes,
Come join Caesar,
For a fun time.

Magic and love,
Loss and grief,
Share your heart
Your soul, release

Sending my love skyward to you
I finally did what you wanted me to
Here is my heart, my soul in rhyme
Inscribed in ink shared for all time

Once I realized the voices could do it, I also noticed they had been doing it for others.  When I share books by other others that I have read, I try to put a comment at the top. Often these comments are little rhymes:

Finding a recipe is where it all starts
The breaking of eggs and breaking of hearts
Truth is no longer willing to be concealed
When skeletons in closets are revealed
It's fun returning to the days of yore,
Where fun was what we all yearned for,
Life was easier with the future unknown,
When there was still time before we'd reap what we'd sown.

Like the needle of a phonograph nestled in the groove,
Memories play songs of the past bringing it back to you

Little white lies said to protect a heart, Often times tear worlds apart.

Sometimes I even found myself writing teaser blurbs.


Ilona's a doctor with a heart of gold
Is she The Chosen One that was foretold?

Ema's mystical art belies her pain
Horrible trauma she survived but scars remain

Bela's called a "mutt", his blood is unpure
Will his loyalty and friendship endure?

Zoltan is looking forward to a fresh start
Hoping to find the love that will complete his heart

Mora is ancient with a heart cold as ice
Inside her evil itself has come to life

Erza knows the truth which she cannot reveal
Unbearable pain keeps the secrets concealed

Date with destiny is in the past
Fate's time is at hand, the die is cast


Hidden book from long ago
Speaks of a family curse
Tragedies in each generation
Unstopped keep getting worse
Sophia's not worried at first
For no twin exists this time
But Destiny will have its way
And an unknown twin she'll find


Perfumes are songs
Notes of essences weaved
Blended with perfection
Our senses are pleased
Just one misplaced note
And aroma unfurled
Instead of making happy noses
It makes our toes try to curl

Recently their has been a flood of posts by authors stating they are lost when it comes to marketing.  There are so many books out there it is hard to find new ways to compete.  Everyone has a blog, a video and tons of memes to showcase their art.  But, nothing seems to work. We placed our hearts on our sleeves and no one is looking!  So, I thought I could offer something a little different. 

My new business venture is writing jingles.  With prices starting at $10, I will write a short verse about your book that you will be able to use anywhere.  Longer poems, like the "blurbs" will cost more. 

If you are interested, leave a comment or contact me on my Facebook page.

NOTE:  I am not offering to read your book or review it.  I do NOT want a free book and will not accept one.  I will just need to know a bit about the book or character you want your verse about.  Get creative, consider a verse about a character, or a certain situation within the book. 
Open publication - Free publishing


Friday, August 9, 2019

A Wish Fulfilled

Jasmine's Wish Released in Print!

Cover designed by Erika Szabo
It has taken a long time for me to fulfill my angel's wish, but I finally did.  Now, thanks to the efforts of the very talented  Erika Szabo at Golden Box Books Publishing, the four book collection is available as one book in print!  This beautiful cover is not one I had even dreamed of, and yet it is the perfect one for the collection.  When someone creates from the heart, it touches everyone.  The funny thing is Erika offered to help me create a picture to use for a book sleeve that I was hoping to have made to hold the four books in the collection.  

Shook Studios
My plans for the art work did connect the completed project with the original version of Voices In My Head. I was trying to connect the book covers from the first editions to the final ones.  I could not decide for sure about how to put it on the box nor how to have the poem displayed. Someone was not pleased with this idea (an angel from above?).  For what ever reason, I was inspired to ask Erika for her opinion.

Because Erika designs with her heart, she knew I was going at it from the wrong direction.  The volumes needed to be connected in spirit not artwork.  Her beautiful concept joined my heart to my daughter in heaven.  The perfect dress for the collection.

Unfortunately, the company could not make less than 1000 sleeves, which is way more than I will ever need.  Erika, undaunted, suggested putting the collection together as a single book in print (it was already up as an e-book)  through Barnes and Noble.
It is now available in both print and an e-version with this cover through Barnes & Noble. and I will consider having it available for signed copies if anyone is interested.

Reading the blurb above the poem on the back cover brought back a memory of Jasmine.  As I said, she was always a captive audience for my poems, mostly by her choice.  She loved being read to and was raised on Dr. Seuss and Mother Goose so poetry was something she loved.  Also, I had 4 older sisters and we were all Girl Scouts so I knew lots of silly songs which I used to entertained her.  Growing up in the 60s, I also knew the ones from the radio like Purple People Eater, Yellow Submarine, and my personal favorite, They're Coming To Take Me Away.

On our many trips, we would always check out the tapes at the gas stations to find new things to listen to in the car.  One time I found a tape of silly songs and my favorite was on it.  I bought it and played it.  She was laughing at the songs, most of which I had forgotten, but when Take Me Away came on she went silent.  I turned to look at her and her eyes were huge and her mouth hung open.  I asked her what was wrong, I thought she was having an issue with her diabetes.  She found her voice and said, "they are singing your song."  It was at that moment I realized my child had thought all the poems I told her that she did not see in a book were written by me!  I had never even considered the possibility of that happening.  I had to burst the poor child's bubble and explain that if the poem came complete with music I did not write it.

I love you Jasmine,  hope this collection I am sending with all my heart pleases you.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Short Story #2


I love doing landscaping
Luckily I even get paid to do it
I knew as soon as I woke that day
Something wonderful was going to happen

It was a very hot morning
I'd been replacing bushes for hours
The new owners wanted flowering ones
Gotta keep the customers satisfied
They picked ones that will accent the place
I leaned on my heels to stretch my back
Something pulled my eyes to the door
There she stood
A goddess come to Earth
Simply gorgeous!
She must be the daughter
Oh how the sunlight dances upon her hair
It's long and a perfect chestnut brown
Deep auburns mingle with the darkest brown
Seems to flow in gentle waves down her back
My heart is in my throat
I can't remember how to breathe
She turns and notices me
Her lips curve into a delicate smile
She waves at me and I wave back
Her eyes sparkle with mischief
A hint of desire in them as she coyly looks at me
Then she runs off
I shake my head and turn back to my work
Wish these bushes would need more attention
I must see her again
I finish and she hasn't returned
My heart aches with the desire to see her
I go to the door to report the completion of my work
The lady of the house walks out to inspect
We chat and I ask if the girl was her daughter

"Yes,"  she replies, then shakes her head.
She just turned 15 and thinks she's an adult."

"She's so beautiful.
Kids want to grow up too fast these days."

Changing the subject, she says "These look fantastic!
They will bloom this year, right?"

"Glad you like them, you made good choices.
They should bloom next month.
I'll come back for a few weeks to fertilize, just to be sure."

"That will be great!
Here's $250 for today, as agreed.
I'll pay for the upkeep weekly, if that is ok?"

I take her check, and smile accepting her offer
My mind goes back to thoughts of her daughter
I so want to see her again
Then I glance at the check--wait a minute!
"This is too much! I think you made a mistake."

"No, you did marvelous work and everything is neat.
It's just a tip to show my gratitude."

"Thank you. And I am very grateful. I've never had a tip before.
Well, if there is nothing else, I'll be going.
I'll come back next Saturday morning if that is convenient?
Just water these for about an hour every other evening."

"Okay, see you Saturday."

I left, smiling.
Saturday, just seven days and then
I WILL see her again
My angel, my soulmate

It has been two weeks and I haven't seen her again
Where is she? Is she worried our love will be denied?
She must know we are meant to be together
Tomorrow I will wait down the road
Surely she must come out sometime
I see her coming now
She's on her phone
Her voice is like music to my ears
She laughs at something
Who has the right to make my love laugh?
Oh, but her laughter rings in the air
It dances with the beat of my heart
She sees me, she smiles then hesitates
What's wrong?
She looks worried
Then her face brightens
She remembers who I am

"HI" she says, "You're the gentleman who put in our bushes a few weeks ago, right?"

"Yes, I believe I saw you that day.
I've been back fertilizing the last three weeks but I never saw you again.
Thought maybe you were a dream
It was hot that day."

“I went away to riding camp,” She giggles.
I go every summer so I can learn to ride horses."

"That explains why I hadn't seen you.
"I'm Paul."

"I'm Angelique, but my friends just call me Angel."

"Can I call you Angel?"

"Yes, well it is nice seeing you again
I must be going. I'm meeting my friends at the mall."

"The mall?  That is a pretty long walk from here."

"Oh, I catch the bus on the corner, it should be there any time now.  Gotta run, bye!"

"Have fun. I hope to see you again."

I watch her walk away
Her body sways in the most sensuous rhythm
She looks back over her shoulder and waves
Yet her eyes tell the truth
They burn me with the heat of their desire
Every week now I watch her as I work her parents landscape
She has been writing in a notebook
It must be important for she pauses a lot
I love how she nibbles on the pencil while she thinks
Her head tilted slightly
I finally call over to ask what she is doing

"I am writing my first novel," she says.

Then she runs over and animatedly tells me about it
Just to experience being so close to her enthusiasm,
Makes my heart race
Her mother calls from the door

"Gotta go, thanks for letting me tell you about my book
"You are so easy to talk to."

"Any time, any time at all!"

Again she smiles and looks back at me
Beckoning me with her eyes
Begging me to have her
Images of her flood my mind all day
Finally home I let my fantasies free
In bed my thoughts race
My dreams are filled with Angel
My Angel
I must find a way to be with her
She's my world
On Saturday I finish my work
She walks over to talk for a minute
She said she was on her way to the mall again

"Mom and dad grounded me, but they’re not home, so . . ."
Then she laughs

"I could give you a ride if you want."

"Would you? That would be great, it is so hot!"

I smile. Finally!
I open the door for her
She is surprised it is so clean
"I bet you thought it would be dirty because of my job."

"No...well...yes, I guess I did"

"I'll be a minute.
I need to wash up before I get in.
I have water back in the trailer."

I watch her as I clean up.
She is looking around.
Glad my supplies are out here.
I climb in and slide the bottle in my door's pouch.

"You do keep it nice in here," she mentions.

"I try. Please put on your seatbelt, this thing beeps if you don't."

"Sure, sorry I don't usually forget that."
She smiles at me, her eyes sparkling.
Wow I can't believe she is finally here.

I pull away from her yard and head to the highway
My doors lock automatically
She jumps.

"Don't your parents' cars have auto-locks?
I thought all newer vehicles did."
"I don't know why I jumped; of course they do."

I have to get her attention.

"How is your novel coming?  Is Elsise any closer to finding Jonathan?"

"Oh you remembered!"

That was all it took, she began talking in earnest about her book. 
Her voice is so soft but the way it plays in my ears is like a symphony.
While she goes on her eyes are on me.
I love girls with manners, look at the person you are speaking too!
I jump in here and there, glancing at her just enough to show I am listening.
Slowly, I let my hand wander to her leg
Fear filled her eyes
I could almost hear her blood racing

She pushed it away, "I can walk from here."
Then she looked out the window and realized I had driven out of town.
Her eyes began to water and her body trembled.

"What is wrong with you?  You know how I feel.
You feel it too.  We must be together!"

She fights and tries to open the door
Child locks keep her inside
She tries to move but the seatbelts have locked in place
Her arms are all she can control
And she is trying to reach me
She rakes her nails down my arm
Why is she fighting me?
I shake my head,
So disappointed, but I am prepared.
I pour the chloroform onto a rag
Forcing it over her mouth I whisper

"I did not want you this way
But I will take you anyway I can."
I pull into my driveway
Living in the middle of nowhere has its perks
No nosy neighbors to see anything
I carry my bride over the threshold
This time I am prepared
I have the shackles already installed
She will learn


Portfilio Links 

Karina on yourtube

Friday, July 12, 2019


Memories of Home

When you hear some one say they were from New York, this is probably the first picture that pops in your head. Then someone mentions Niagara Falls, and you remember that it is also in New York.  

Actually there are hundreds of miles of gorgeous countrysides between these two iconic places.  I was lucky enough to be raised in this "in-between" section.  My hometown was closer to Buffalo and the Falls.  I have never been to New York City. 

Growing up in the country, lots of things effect how you turn out.  For me, it is my connection with water.  My first memories are of living on Lake Road and going down into the gully that bordered our yard.  The sides were steep but the reward of a slow moving creek was worth the slow descent.  My sisters and I spent many a summer's day down there wading and catching minnows and crawdads.  It was cool and refreshing.  I can almost hear the water as it hit the rocks.

Going to Conesus Lake was always a fun time.  We would go to Long Point Park for picnics.  The cool water gently rushed to the pebbly shores.  Funny that mentioning it has me back there listening to the waves.  I remember  swimming lessons there each summer before the High School put in the pool. The park had an amusement part which opened in the evenings.  An arcade, carnival rides and even a skating rink offered a child a virtual smorgasbord of fun.

Conesus outlet flowed near my home on its way to meet the Genesee River.  I loved walking to Ashentee and looking over the bridge to watch the waterfalls.  It was magical.  If the water was running fast, the spray would blow up and reach you.  Ashentee itself was private property, but before I knew that I would walk down and watch the falls from the front side. There was a water wheel on one of the buildings, but as far as I can recall, it was no longer working when I was young.
Amanda Castilla

Michael Coyle-Gilbert

Shaernar Cherew-Gordon

Amanda Castilla
 Paper Mill Falls, which is also along the outlet, is now a park. I never saw it in person.  At the time I lived there, it was well-known to be be private property.  Some friends  were kind enough to get me current pictures of the area.  What a beautiful place, sad that I didn't have the
Michael Coyle-Gilbert
Peggy Fly
Peggy Fly
opportunity to experience it first hand.   Unfortunately, no one was unable to get a picture of Ashentee, I will have to settle for the ones I have in my mind.

If you follow the outlet from Ashentee, you find it flows under the road to Geneseo and the 5Arch bridge.  The way it flows in my memories is how it appears in this, my high school senior picture.  It is just a gentle babbling brook.  I
used to go there and wade out to the larger rock shelves and sit listening to the creeks tales.  Many a day I spent enchanted by the water's song.  I found peace there, the water seemed to take my worries and carry them away.  Peggy, my dear friend from high school, sent this more recent picture for me.  I

Peggy Fly

don't remember ever seeing the water flowing that hard.  Perhaps I just don't want to remember it that way.

Pictures take me back to a more peaceful time.  I am still amazed that even pictures have a way of washing away my troubles.


Babbling brooks
Sing songs of old
Returning peace
To young and old
Cascades release
A gentle spray
Washing all
Life's woes away
Leaving those
Who venture near
So peaceful
Smiles reappear


Portfilio Links