• Little Milestones Receives 5-Star Review from Readers’ Favorite

    *** One of the things I won’t ever do on my blog is to pretend that being an independent author is at all glamorous. It’s not. It takes tireless work, both on the creating/writing/editing side, as well as on the marketing/public relations/promotions side. It can be an exhausting adventure—and it is most definitely an adventure every single time—but you have to know this going into the endeavor. And never expect too much. That said, you can imagine my surprise this morning, when I was already feeling down about where my next piece of writing is headed, to see the 5-star review for Little Milestones, a novel a published in October…

  • The Postcard Gets 5-Star Review from Readers’ Favorite

    Honestly, it’s been a pretty rough 2019 for so many reasons, but seeing this review this morning from READERS’ FAVORITE put a big smile on my face. It’s when I read something like this that I know that despite all the work and effort it takes to be an independent author, it is all worth it in the end. Thank you also to my former student, now PR pro, Grace Clark, for the amazing cover photo, which helped earn us a perfect 5 score for the collection, from writing, storytelling, to cover design. Cheers! THE BOOK REVIEW Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite A postcard is more than just…

  • Friday Fiction: Writing the Prologue & Baseball Girl

    There is much debate in the fictional writing world as to whether or not your story should begin with a prologue. The last three books I have read–all mainstream fictional novels–have started with a prologue. I found the prologue of Me Before You particularly effective. The discussion of the prologue is a relatively simple one: should you include a glimpse for the reader as to what will eventually come of the characters and plot of the story? Does the prologue have a somewhat different voice? Does it intrigue the reader and offer a bit of a backstory, which will, in turn, propel the story forward? It’s a challenging question to…

  • Friday Fodder | It’s Been a Good Week

    Honorable Mention Award | Readers’ Favorite 2015 Whenever something you’ve written garners a little recognition, it’s a good thing. Getting another nod from Readers’ Favorite made my week, as Baseball Girl was a project I worked on for three years. Seeing it earn an award in the category of Sports Fiction made me happy, too. Moreover, I’m blessed to have so many friends and family supporters who not only encourage me to write, but also share the news and are genuinely pleased for me. When you sweat over a project for as long as I did (and for some people even longer), when you pour your blood, sweat, and tears…

  • Endorsements for Baseball Girl

    Today, I’d like to thank Dr. Charles Steinberg of the Boston Red Sox and Jack Magnus of Readers Favorite for their kind commentary about Baseball Girl. Dr. Steinberg endorsed the book, which you can see showcased on the new cover, and Jack Magnus gave it a 5-Star Review. As for sales of this independent novel, they are steady, and I’m pleased with its progress without having executed a full-blown marketing campaign. Word of mouth seems to be helping it along, so if you’ve enjoyed reading it, please consider recommending it to someone or writing a review for it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I can tell you only that…

  • It’s Not Bragging. It’s Marketing.

    It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and if you don’t toot your own horn now and then, you will get buried in the monstrous pile of authors who are all doing the same thing you are doing. The life of an independent author is not a glamorous one, unless of course, you are Amanda Hocking. The world of the independent author who participates in this craft is one of resilience, determination, boundless creativity, and an unwillingness to stop promoting a product you think is decent work (at least good enough to share with the public). Therefore, when you get a 5-Star Review from a reputable organization such as Readers’ Favorite,…

  • Beneath The Mimosa Tree’s Award Certificate Has Arrived…

    Today I am sharing with you my “official award certificate” I received from Readers’ Favorite. “Beneath the Mimosa Tree” was tops in its category for contemporary romance. I’m still thrilled to pieces by the acknowledgement. If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, please do so! It makes a great summer read and perfect gift, especially with Mother’s Day approaching. I’d love for you to read it and share your thoughts with me. I’m also pleasantly surprised by the amount of men who have read it and could appreciate and relate to Michael’s perspective. It took me a long time to get the male point of view right. I might…

  • Writing the Follow-Up to “Beneath the Mimosa Tree”

    Last weekend when I was in Miami and “Beneath the Mimosa Tree” won a bronze for contemporary romance fiction in the Readers Favorite contest, I was in a bit of shock. I couldn’t believe it. Contemporary Romance. Bronze Medal. It was my first book, but it was a long, long time in the making. I felt a little bit like Jeannette Walls when she admitted she wrote the first draft of “The Glass Castle” twenty years ago. The same holds true for me. I drafted “Beneath the Mimosa Tree” as a short story prior to it becoming a novel. However, all I kept thinking to myself was: I’ve got a…

  • 5 Things To Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving

    ~ ~ ~ Steph’s Scribe wishes all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving, and is extremely thankful for the following this year: 5. Wow! 50,000+ hits on Steph’s Scribe, and 25,000 + hits on Paperblog. 4. Steph’s Scribe’s blog followers…over 2,000! 3. Readers Favorite and the Bronze Medal for Contemporary Romance for my novel “Beneath the Mimosa Tree.” Thanks to all who have read the book. 2. My full-time job as a professor at Stevenson University and my wonderful colleagues and students. 1. My loving family and friends and the wonderful support they always give me 365 days a year. I hope my turkey today comes out as tasty as…

  • Four Things I Learned In Miami at the Readers’ Favorite Awards

    * * * Sometimes when my students do an intense assignment, when they’ve completed it, I ask them to write a reflection, typically in the form of a reflective essay. When we sit in peace after we’ve experienced something, it allows us time to be creative and think about what it all meant to us. I’ve decided to do the same about my trip to receive the Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medal that my first novel, Beneath the Mimosa Tree, won for Contemporary Romance. Reflection #1: I am lucky. As I was flying to Miami, I had a few moments to consider what’s happened to the book since it launched in…

  • Readers’ Favorite Announces Winners: The Official Press Release

    Today, Readers Favorite made it all official with its announcement in press release form of the 2012 contest winners. In the category of Romance-Contemporary, BENEATH THE MIMOSA TREE a Bronze award. As such, I’ll be going to Miami in November for the awards ceremony. It also coincides with the Miami Book Festival. I’m pretty excited about the festival, and thrilled that my novel about love, family, friendship, and forgiveness placed. Click here to go to Amazon.com Click here to go to BarnesandNoble.com Click here to read the official release and to learn more about Readers Favorite.

  • BIG NEWS!!! BENEATH THE MIMOSA TREE Earns Medal in Annual Readers Favorite Contest

    * * * Readers Favorite announced today its selection of winners in its annual Readers Favorite Contest. I am happy (very happy, in fact!) to report that BENEATH THE MIMOSA TREE earned a Bronze Medal, which, believe it or not, appears to be tops in its category. It’s based on a points scoring system, so you have to understand the official way the contest is judged, which is as follows according to the Readers Favorite website: “We offer up to 4 award levels in each category: Gold, Silver, Bronze, Honorable, as well as a Finalist level. You will notice that not all levels are awarded in each category, despite the…