Curses: Real or Fantasy

Are curses real? Do they really exist or are they just figments of over active imaginations? Well, I suppose it all depends on how you view a “curse”. If I have an accident on my drive into work today, is it simply an accident ? Or could it be that someone I have offended has placed a curse on me, a hex or a jinx as a way to get even ? Did the dog really leave his squeaky toy on the doorstep or did an evil-doer curse the item and leave it there to be activated when I stepped over it? One thing is for certain, if things start going wrong in the early morning, they tend to worsen as the day grows late. I for one actually believe in curses, but maybe not quite the way we traditionally think of curses.

What about negative energy? How much power does a negative statement have? I knew a man once who seemed to have the worst luck of anyone I had ever met. He told me something his mother said once, “Son, if it was raining soup, you would be holding a fork!” I laughed when he said it, but how true is it? Not sure. . .but he’s dead now.

I met a lady when I lived in Birmingham Alabama who believed that “graveyard” dirt warded off curses as well as brought good luck. She discreetly collected a handful at every funeral she attended. She carried a small bit in a plastic bag hidden in her purse and sprinkled it in her shoes before BINGO every Saturday night. . .I don’t recall whether or not she ever won the jackpot.

I believe that we can bring good things to our lives with positive attitude and by believing that good things will come but what does that say about the person who always expects the worst around every single corner? Could I make that car accident happen by believing that something terrible awaited me down the street? Can we bring sickness and disaster down upon ourselves by owning negative thoughts? If that is possible, maybe we can do that to other people. . .a lot of people think so.

In The Wraith of Carter’s Mill, I wrote about a curse that followed a family through five generations. I heard similar stories as a child, stories of people cursed because of an evil deed committed by a predecessor. These innocent folks were supposedly doomed to pay for the sins of their fathers, and so do my characters. Recently a reader commented to me that she was bothered by my reference to such an unfair curse and that the Wraith in my story gave her nightmares. Although she claims that she does not believe in anything paranormal, I wonder if some small part of her is afraid. . .afraid that curses are real.


C. Evenfall is the author of “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill, available now in paperback and as e-book at Amazon.

Spotlight: The Wraith of Carter’s Mill: The Curse of the Carter Women by C. Evenfall‏

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The Wraith of Carter’s Mill chronicles five generations of women from the turn of the century to present day. It depicts in startling detail the result of an old curse and the wraith that haunts the family. Sensitives, The Guardians and The Forgotten tell the tale while the fourth shocking segment, Carter’s Mill provides the back-story. It reveals the shameful truth behind a century of sorrow and the curse of revenge that plagues the Carter women.

Zeb, the Carter family patriarch, is a hard, callous man. He runs his thriving sawmill, farm and family with an iron fist. When he commits an incredible act of cruelty, he ignorantly brings a terrible curse down upon all his kin. Martha Thompsons’ prophecy proves true as the family falls into ruin, and the women pay the price.

Almost a century after Zeb’s death, a Carter daughter is born with notable yet uncanny gifts…

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Review: ” Thy Daughter’s Enemies; The Sapphire Star Saga” by M.L. Meinhold

Thy Daughter's Enemies: The Sapphire Star SagaThy Daughter’s Enemies: The Sapphire Star Saga by A.L. Meinhold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A.L. Meinhold has written a beautiful short fantasy here. Although this books seems to have been written for a younger audience, anyone who enjoys fantasy will enjoy it.

I would have liked to have seen a little more “showing” and a little less “telling”. The editing could have been better, however minor formatting and editing issues don’t annoy me too greatly when reading indie work.

The cover is full of beautiful color but I think it looks a little too much like a children’s book instead of a YA novel.

Watreon is a believable place which is important in fantasy writing. The characters, while interesting and well thought out could have used a little more “fleshing” out to make them a little more memorable. Since this is the first in a series, I expect that A.L. Meinhold will probably do just that in the next edition.

I will be watching for the next installment.

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Review: Ted Dekker’s ‘Boneman’s Daughters”

BoneMan's DaughtersBoneMan’s Daughters by Ted Dekker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ted Dekker’s novel, “Boneman’s Daughters” is chilling and shakes you to the bone, no pun intended.
I’m not sure the author was shooting for this but I found the entire story so sad. Husband and wife split, Dad is in the military and away from home all the time, daughter hates Dad, ex-wife hates Dad and yet, the daughter is targeted by a heinous serial killer, giving Dad a chance to become a hero, in his daughter’s eyes anyway.
I found the beginning of the novel disturbing, the violence was just almost too much for me, but by the time the protagonist, intelligence officer, Ryan Evans starts hunting for his missing daughter, I could not put it down.
Dekker not only nailed the story but he masterfully creates a tumultuous emotional roller coaster ride, describing perfectly the panic and fear of losing a child and the die-hard determination of a man to save his daughter.

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Review: “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel

Station ElevenStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Station Eleven” by Emily st. John Mandel is the most interesting twist on “the end of life as we know it to be on earth” that I have ever read!
The unlikely intertwining of lives and personalities within the story is magnificent.
The story stretches across decades, bringing characters together who’s paths might never have crossed without the authors direction.
It is suspenseful, and sometimes dark complete with a maleficent “Prophet” and everyday heroes made spectacular by their circumstances.
Fate connects a plethora of characters and huge surprises are in store.
If you have ever wondered what the world would be like in the wake of pandemic,particularly in the reestablishment of humanity. here’s your chance.

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Obtaining the Coveted Honest Book Review

Today, anyone can publish their work without submitting themselves to the grueling task of “finding” a publisher who is willing to take it on and without all the rejection from the BIG publishers out there . . . but publishing and selling the work are two totally different things. Because publishing is so much easier for authors nowadays, the market is flooded and readers are more dependent on reviews than ever. Reviews help us to make “better” choices about products, movies and books.

Reviews sell books! It’s a well known fact. Without them, the public has no way of determining if your book is worthy of their time or money. When I first started writing The Wraith of Carter’s Mill, I had no idea how important they really are. I have learned that it does not matter how good your work is IF you don’t have the reviews to back up the claim, because potential readers will peruse right by your work and purchase something else from the same genre, a similar book that has the reviews!

While covers, book descriptions and back cover synopsis have a lot to do with it, most book shoppers go straight to the reviews. If your book has been out there for a while and has a small handful, you are less likely to entice the reader to make the purchase . . . after all, there are hundreds if not thousands of other books to chose from in your genre. Although I have a background in business and understand competition, I really had no idea that authors, books and publishers are competing against one another for their fair share of the market.

Interestingly enough, I have also found that less than stellar reviews can be as helpful as FIVE star ratings, especially if the reviewers have taken the time to explain why they liked or did not like the work. Varying opinions of a work create diversity and interest. A “middle of the road” review, a 3 for instance is an average rating, and gives potential readers the assurance that the posted reviews are honest and not paid for.

Because the industry has changed so much over the last decade or two, so has book marketing. There is an almost infinite number of ways to obtain those coveted reviews . . . and it can be quite expensive. There are book bloggers out there selling reviews and it can be tempting to go that route, but I am finding that the very best way to go is market your book, create buzz and interest and the honest, verified reviews will come . . . eventually.

C. Evenfall is the author of The Wraith of Carter’s Mill series, available in paperback as a compilation at http://amazon.com/dp/B00VIU9YKS.

Inspiration

Authors are on the lookout for inspiration constantly!  As a paranormal suspense writer, I am no different.

Most of my inspiration comes from the old stories I remember hearing as a child, but often I am inspired by current events and photographs.

I love photos of old buildings the most. It’s easy to imagine an old abandoned house as haunted, but when I look at this old church, my imagination goes wild. Built around the turn of the century, this old church has witnessed many events, survived hurricanes and yes, a lot of funerals were preached within it’s walls.

If the old planks could whisper, I wonder what they would say! Would they tell stories about the good ole days or would they have more sinister tales to tell …

sorry, I just had a great idea! Gotta run!

Historical, Yopp's Meeting House, Sneads Ferry, NC

Historical, Yopp’s Meeting House, Sneads Ferry, NC

Pure Magic!

I have been a little stumped lately with scenes in the novel I am currently writing.
The ideas are there but I must be able to visualize the surroundings or else the story will suffer … and I was having difficulty with that.
It doesn’t help that I run a small business and work has been demanding of late, so I was growing discouraged about my current project … until I had a brilliant idea.
I grabbed my notebook, got in my truck and started driving. I knew that I was looking for a rural area so I hit all those back roads I traveled as a teenager.
I stopped several times to take photos and before I knew it, I was parking in an old cemetery. I let down the tailgate of the truck, got out my notebook and pen and got comfortable. Two hours later, I had pages of notes and several good photos on my phone.
I returned home victorious. Not only did I clear the writer’s block by “gathering” inspiration, but I think the effect of an afternoon drive and lot’s of sunshine worked pure magic!
My time is still limited, work is still crazy, but the story is taking real shape!

C. Evenfall is the author of paranormal/suspense novel, “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill”

Balancing Writing Time: For Authors who work full-time

If you work a full-time job and still aspire to be an author, you will find that setting aside the time necessary to write your novel presents quite a challenge. After all, there’s still house chores to do, gardening, lawn work, dog baths and a bunch of other stuff that really rack up the minutes, and eat away at your spare time.

Notice, I said spare-time! When I first started writing, it was a hobby, something I did to relax and escape for a while. When I decided to seek out publishing options, I thought, ” Well, I’ll set half my weekend aside for writing”. Something miraculous happened and I actually completed the novel. Yay! I felt wonderful!

Until I realized how much “time” the marketing was going to take. Suddenly my “spare-time” was not enough time to do it all! I’m not twenty anymore and don’t multitask as smoothly as I used to. So, I decided that I would treat marketing for “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill” like a part-time job … second to my full time job of running a business. I quickly realized that my part-time job was absorbing my “spare-time” leaving me very little time for sleep.This was not working for me.

The bottom line is this, if you want to write and you want to promote your work, but you have a full-time job, you must make a schedule. Be realistic with what you expect from yourself and remember that you write because you love it! The following steps are how I am getting myself on track.

  •  Make a list of your marketing goals each week.
  •  Make a realistic schedule for yourself. Consider how much time you can set aside each day for marketing tasks and what time of day is best for you. Try to adhere to your schedule but if you have extra time one day and work ahead on your list, good for you!
  •  Take good notes. I have a notebook handy while I am working on marketing. On it I document what I did and where I stopped. It helps me to restart the next morning right where I left off.
  •  Keep a notebook handy throughout the day if possible. If you’re writing a story, ideas can come along at any time. Jot these down as they occur and when the weekend comes, you’re already halfway to writing a couple of chapters.

Because I run my own business, I have some flexibility in my work schedule … not much but some. So I decided that I would reclaim my weekends, creating “spare-time” in which I could get creative and start my next novel. Creativity does not flow on demand, but all week long I jot down notes, ideas and phrases that come to mind so that when the weekend arrives, I already have the bare bones.

I decided to set aside 2 hours each day for marketing my latest release and I chose early morning. Why did I chose 6am as my marketing time? Because at 6am my business phone is not ringing and I am fresh for the day. Our work day starts at 9am, so I have two hours for answering emails, making inquiries about reviews, posting to my books social media pages etc. with a one hour break in between.

For now, it is working for me. I feel a bit more empowered and less overwhelmed. I am experiencing the joys of writing again and the excitement of promoting my novel “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill”.

I realize that in time, I may have to rethink my writing and marketing schedule, but the important thing is that for the time being, I feel much more organized.

C. Evenfall is the author of “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill” available in paperback at http://www.amazon.com/dp/1503205096

and in e-book format at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VIU9YKS.

To Kindle or Not to Kindle

I sometimes ask myself what came first, the chicken or the egg? Thanks to my publisher, I am no longer so confused about that … well maybe I am, but at least I understand why my book, “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill”, was published as paperback first.

I suppose it’s widely known among Indie authors that the task of formatting a book to Kindle can be quite a job, and according to my publisher, it is easier to format a book to Kindle after it has been formatted to paperback. It is also much easier to proof a paperback copy than it is a digital copy I have learned firsthand.

The fact of the matter is that in the age we live in, you just simply must make your book available in digital format. People read on the go today. They snatch a few minutes here and a few there and it is just more convenient for today’s reader to be able to read the books they love on a device of some sort. Can you imagine what it would have been like if Emerson, Twain, or Steinbeck had the same publishing venues available to them?

So, in keeping with the times and the tradition of authors to reach as many readers as possible, we have finally released the Kindle version of “The Wraith of Carter’s Mill,” and I could not be happier about it.

Follow the link below to get your Kindle copy:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VIU9YKS