Would you Like to Write a Book?

would you like to write a bookDo you have a message the world needs?  It’s simpler than ever to write a book and share it with the world, but the marketing part of things can be a little overwhelming.  And truth be told, most books – even from the Big Five publishers – sell an average of 200 copies.  None of us want that after we’ve invested so much in writing a book.  And just to be clear, I’m not what I’d call a successful author.  I did a lot of things wrong with my first book and there are some mistakes I won’t make again – and maybe I’ll make a whole new set of mistakes with my next book.  I’m a work in progress, we all are.  I do know some things NOT to do… and believe me – that’s important information!

If you’ve been looking around out there for great resources that will show you what to do and how to do it, all the while hoping that it comes with an affordable price tag… well, that might not exist – but pretty close.  Educating yourself is going to cost you something, time… money… you name it.  Education is costly.  Good news: You’re worth the investment!  I spent some time in the Stanford Creative Writing Program ($$$), I hired coaches and took classes ($$$$), I even did an internship.  In short, I spent a great deal of time and money!  Knowing what I now know… I would do some of that differently.  I would invest my resources very differently!  Experience is a great teacher!

In short, I’m no book guru.  I can’t show you my sales figures with all the commas and zeros, and I won’t point out my extensive list of 6-figure successes!  lol!  I have learned a few things the hard way, and that’s a great place to begin.  I also believe that the best way to learn something and really get it to sink in is to turn around and share what you’re learning.

Behind the Scenes Custom Thumbnail

I’ve created a Patreon Community where you can come behind the scenes with me and explore what it’s like to be an author and owner of a brand.  I’m very transparent in this community about What, How, and most importantly… Why? I do what I do. There is a small investment – like anything worth doing – this is an investment in your own dream of becoming a published author.  Learn more…

I’ve also created a Facebook group called the Tiny House Authors, and you don’t have to live in a tiny house to be involved!  Join now!  Let’s explore the business of books together!

Tiny House Authors

Thanks so much for reading, I really appreciate it!

Carmen Shenk Logo Mini (2)

Inspired

36475543Every now and then a book comes along that hits a note that speaks far beyond the story on the page, and this is it! I’m enamored by this magical story of sculpture that comes to life, worlds within worlds, Greek mythology, and people who observe much more than just body language. I’m nearly 50, so I’m not the intended audience, but I loved this story from the perspective of a story well told, and also as an empowering example of women helping women to grow, thrive, and embrace our uniqueness. Most of all, this book makes me want to go play with beads, and weave something, play the piano, and maybe even pull out my paints. This book is a life affirming study in the nature of creativity and our power to help people live true non-conformist lives of authenticity and compassion. I love the story, and I love the heart and creativity of the storytelling.  e4f60-1a2bcarmen

 

 

BTW, the author Susan Schaefer Bernardo also wrote another favorite book, The Big Adventures of Tiny House.  BTW, if you have children, you’re going to want a copy of everything Susan Schaefer Bernardo and Courtenay Fletcher have ever written.  Their books are spectacular!!

The Future She Left Behind

This convoluted love story is paced like a comfortable walk and explores themes of purpose, passion, and what makes relationships work. The characters ring true, the love stories are universal. There is a theme throughout that money won’t make you happy and that following your purpose and passion is worth more than all the boyfriends in the world. I have been busy the last few days without time to stop and read, but this story kept drawing me back in. That’s a good sign. I’ll get the work done another day.e4f60-1a2bcarmen

Close Enough to Touch

I loved this intricate story woven from the various vantage points of a small cast of characters. I loved that the ending is unexpected and leaves you with questions. I loved the extraordinary medical condition that becomes a foundation for the author to write about the universal experience of human connection in a vivid and compassionate way. The story is well crafted, original, and it’s the kind of story that lingers with you.  Best of all, it’s a love story loaded with awkward moments, plenty of longing, and sexual tension.  I loved it!!e4f60-1a2bcarmen

The Blackbird Season

This is my first Kate Moretti novel, and I’ll be back for more! I don’t usually read suspense, but I am really glad I picked up this book, Moretti totally won me over!

This is a story set in a small town – a bit too small – everyone thinks they know everyone else, but there are some surprises in store. Moretti weaves a tale where nothing is quite what it seems on the surface, and as you wind your way down through the layers, there is so much here to love. Through the perspective of various characters we see a world with atmospheric and edgy qualities, and the blackbirds settle through the story adding just the right spookiness without being kitschy. The best part about this book are the curious characters who look, and keep on looking for truth. If ever there was a good reminder not to jump to conclusions about people, this is it.

This story has great heart, great characters, and it will break your heart. I loved it! 5d534-1a2bcarmen

Lucy Libido says… There’s an Oil for That

51K7vtGDndL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_This light hearted book has some very helpful information.  I saw the title and laughed and figured it would be an amusing read.  Then I learned some very surprising info that I wish I had known many years ago.  The most interesting part was about balancing hormones using essential oils, I had no idea that was even a thing.  I’m annoyed I’m just learning about this now, but better late than never.  I’ve placed some goodies in my Essential Rewards order at Young Living and I would say I’ll let you know how it goes… but I won’t.  lol!

Secondly, the chapter titled “Libido Seesaw” was very interesting and I think will be a huge help in cases where one partner has a more active libido than the other partner.  There is also a section titled “Real Women: Real Stories” which just highlighted how important these matters are to women (and men) everywhere.

Finally, with a title like that I expected some bedroom potions, and there are quite a few.  In addition there are a few recipes for things like “Vein Diminisher” and “Scar Diminisher” and more.  And there is whole chapter on body image which I think is a real bonus in a book like this because sexuality and body image are very much entwined.  It’s a very positive and holistic approach to sexuality which I really appreciate.

This remarkable little book happened when 20 women (various shapes, sizes, ages, etc) got together and had some very forthright conversations.  I applaud them and their decision to share candidly and with a great deal of humor on topics that are sensitive and close to the heart of many women.  I think this book is very empowering, plus there is now a Facebook group for folks who have read the book.

Click the image to pick up your own copy.

I think this book makes a spectacular gift for the woman in your life, I even looked around to see if I could find a place to buy a case of them to pass out to all my favorite women (sadly, I didn’t find that, but I’ll keep looking).  Buy a copy for all your closest girlfriends and then you’ll be able to say “I told you so” with a very knowing smile.e4f60-1a2bcarmen

Who Am I If You’re Not You?

Who 6This is a remarkable love story that starts with two women, and continues with a woman and a man… only it’s not about divorce and remarriage.  This is Jennifer’s story of marrying a woman, Marika – who then became Marc.  It’s a remarkable tale of expectations, transition, grief, and love.  It’s beautifully told and horribly painful and gut-wrenching in places, with splashes of humor that are surprising and wonderful.  The writing is concise and fast moving so you get a lot of story in a few pages, but the best part is the authenticity in the story telling.  There is no gloss or spit-polish in the presentation of this tale, just raw honesty, and it’s very refreshing.

I didn’t know what to expect with this topic, and I was glad that it’s not preachy and the author doesn’t come across as someone with an ax to grid.  It’s just a well written, compelling, and complex love story of two people who went through the storm together.  Dr Ritz Mae Brown, MSH called it “a Category 5 hurricane” and I agree.  When the storm passed and the clouds dropped the last of their burden and the sun came back out, this couple was still standing.  If anyone knows the truth of what it means to be a married couple, it’s Marc and Jennifer.

It’s a very life affirming tale and I’m so glad I read it.  I’d love to see this book taught in schools as a way of reminding us all that no matter what labels we wear or where we find ourselves on the continuum of gender, we share a common humanity.  Love and grief are a part of all of our lives eventually.  I know you’ll love this book!5d534-1a2bcarmen

Spells & Oregano

If you remember earlier this year when this happened…

Then you’ll know how much I love the latest news!

Look what just came in the mail!

AND – this beautiful book is released today, November the 30th, 2017!!

(So hurry on over and get your copy NOW!  I’ll wait.)

IMG_2789

Isn’t it beautiful?  Look at the inside, it even has beautiful fonts and designs inside.

IMG_2794

How cool is that?!  AND, she signed it for me!

*Melt!*

IMG_2795

This is BOOK TWO of The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy, the first one remains one of my favorite books of all time!  And I’ve read the advance copy of Spells & Oregano and I Could. Not. Put. It. Down.  I can’t wait to sit down with this one and devour it all over again!  The story is complex and will keep you guessing, it’s deep, but not in a cloying way – rather – it’s authentic and spicy and… gosh, I’m running out of words here.  This book is like an aged fine wine.  You’ll enjoy savoring every last drop.

It gets better, there is also a recipe with this book created by the lovely and talented Ann Cosolaro Minard, and photographed by her talented daughter:

Salsa Italiana Recipe Card Back

Graphic design by Carmen Shenk

This makes me hungry!  And if you can make something this good so simply, why bother with a store bought sauce?  This is the “real deal” folks, try it out!

How about that… an oregano recipe to go with a book called Spells & Oregano!

I wonder if that was planned.

*wink*

Pst – preview here.

I’m so pleased to recommend this book to everyone who loves a captivating story with a complex story line and vibrant authentic women!  Spells & Oregano by Patricia V. Davis from HD Media Press.  Go here to see the trailer, it’s a work of art in itself!

Spells and Oregano Recipe Card Front

Graphic Design by Carmen Shenk

David Copperfield (yes – THAT David Copperfield) LOVES this book.  Patricia got the opportunity to meet him and ask questions about how one would use a grand magic illusion to hide a murder… oops – don’t want to give away any of the plot!  Yes, this is one for the “Must Read” pile!

IMG_2798 2

Read this book, and visit the Author’s website for a Reader’s Guide: PatriciaVDavis.com.  You can even invite Patricia V. Davis to visit your book club via Skype, wouldn’t that be fun, and wouldn’t you be the star for thinking of it?!  While you are at it, pick up Cooking For Ghosts at the same time so you don’t miss a thing.  Start your Salsa de Pomodoro bubbling away on the stove, then pick up this book, but don’t forget and burn the sauce… e4f60-1a2bcarmen

 

 

 

Where the Sweet Bird Sings

I just read “Where the Sweet Bird Sings” by Ella Joy Olsen and I don’t know if there is an actual category in book selling for genealogical mystery, but there should be, and this is it!  Don’t let the cover fool you into thinking this is one of those “sweetness and light” books found in the Christian fiction section, it’s not.  It’s far more interesting.

This is a genealogical mystery with a modern woman at the center.  She finds the truth of herself through researching the past.  This incredibly rich and complex story follows one voice the whole way through, there is a small cast of characters, and this introverted woman, this grief stricken woman… finds more than answers, she finds identity.  Truly a remarkable read.  I am still marveling over the ending of the book, talk about packing a punch!  It was powerful!  It’s a joy to reach such an intricate well-crafted story!  I look forward to reading more by Ella Joy Olsen.

The book is expected to be released August 29, 2017.  If you have ever searched for present day answers in your DNA or by exploring where you came from, then I’d recommend pre-ordering your copy of this book today.

Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

e4f60-1a2bcarmen

New Goodies

 I enjoy creating quality graphic designs for authors to use in their marketing, and it’s one of my very favorite things!  There are three main reasons this work is so close to my heart.  First, I respect what it takes to get a book from one’s imagination to the page and through the publishing process.  Secondly, books are gifts to civilization.  Third, I’m sure I’m not the only one that can say that a book changed my life.  And finally, sometimes the authors are just as interesting, if not more so… than the books they write.  It’s a pleasure to work with Patricia V. Davis on her Cooking for Ghosts project, and I am impatiently looking forward to reading the next books in her trilogy!

 If I can help you with your own book project in 2017, I’m here.  Check out the links above that explain the custom recipe and food and photography services I offer, as well as the graphic design work I do for authors.
I look forward to working with you to make 2017 a momentous year for your next book.