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Friday, August 21, 2015

Hyperlink Know-how Part 1

 As promised on my last month's FIRE STAR PRESS blog post about putting together an online media kit which you can find by clicking HERE, I'm going to share with you how to hyperlink words. This month I'll demonstrate how to hyperlink using the Blogger blog service. If you use a different blogging or website service, the process for your blog or website host will probably be similar.

You can just copy and paste a URL, or web address, directly into a blog. For example, the web address for my novel, Family Secrets published by FIRE STAR PRESS looks like this:

I prefer to hyperlink descriptive words to direct the reader to the web page. It is neater, more concise and more descriptive. I can word it something like:

Read about Family Secrets by Zina Abbott by clicking HERE.

Or I can word it as follows:

Read more about Family Secrets by Zina Abbott on the FIRE STAR PRESS website. 

Either way, by clicking on the hyperlinked words, the reader will direct the web browser to open a new page with the website page linked to the words in the blog post. Whichever style is used, I believe it looks much cleaner than just hyperlinking the URL. Here is how to hyperlink words in Blogger step by step:

1. Type the words in the blog window/page. Using your mouse or touch pad, highlight the words you want hyperlinked. Then click on the Link icon in the toolbar.

 2.  This will bring up an Edit Link command box. You will be interested in the section that links your words to a web address.

  3.  Next, on your web browser, open a new window and bring up the URL, or web address, of the site to which you wish to connect your hyperlinked words. Note in the example below I have one window for Mozilla Firefox Start Page, one for Blogger Fire Star Press and one for Prairie Rose Publications, which happens to host the Family Secrets page of their imprint Fire Star Press. Highlight that web page's URL and Copy using either the <CTRL>+C command, or by right-clicking on your mouse or touch pad and selecting Copy.

4.  Toggle back to the page for your blog post. In the Web address window of the Edit Link command box, Paste the URL you just highlighted using either the <CTRL>+V command or by right-clicking on your mouse or touch pad and selecting Paste. Note that the words you have highlighted to be hyperlinked are in the Text to display window. 

5. I always use the Test this link function to bring up the URL I pasted into into the Link to:Web address window to make sure the link is correct. If the webpage does not come up properly, I find out why not and redo the link so it works.

6.  I prefer to have my links open in a new window, so I check the Open this link in a new window command. Then click on OK.

7. Once the Edit Link command box closes, the words you highlighted are now hyperlinked, or connected, to the website. When you hover over the hyperlinked text, information about the link plus options to either change or remove the link are made available.
 8. And, once again, here is what that hyperlinked text looks like in the blog post. click on the following link and let it take you to the FIRE STAR PRESS page for the book:

Read more about Family Secrets by Zina Abbott on the FIRE STAR PRESS website.

Next month I'll cover how to make life easier by hyperlinking information you regularly use in Microsoft Word so you can copy and paste it to an email, blog post or where you want it. 

 Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. Her novel, Family Secrets, was published by Fire Star Press in October 2014 and her novelette, AChristmas Promise, was published by Prairie Rose Publications in November 2014. The first two novellas in the Eastern Sierra Brides 1884 series, Big Meadows Valentine and A Resurrected Heart, are now available.

The author is a member of Women Writing the West, American Night Writers Association, and Modesto Writers Meet Up. She currently lives with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” She enjoys any kind of history including family history. When she is not piecing together novel plots, she pieces together quilt blocks.

Please visit the Zina Abbott’s Amazon Author Page by clicking HERE.

Zina Abbott Author Links:

Website  |  Blog     |  Pinterest  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

Monday, August 10, 2015

Writing What I Know

"Write what you know." That writing advice has been around since our ancestors were drawing pictures on cave walls.

The problem is I really don't know a lot--certainly not about the world beyond my small Oregon community. I have no idea which musical groups are popular today or why and since I've gone to the movies once in the past two years, I know better than to write about actors and actresses. Even though my grandfather did it, I can't write science fiction to save myself. I'm too old and uninterested to try to tackle New Adult (which I believe is about people in their early twenties). Most paranormal leaves me cold and don't get me started on the whole billionaire craze. I'm not with it, far from cutting edge. I'm not going to blaze new trails.

So what can I write about? I started thinking about that this morning while I was in the shower since I seem to do my best thinking while wet. Well, I could write an entire book about plumbing repairs and misbehaving computers. I could fill pages with a discourse on the sad state of my nails or how to bathe a dog that hates water. What? No one is interested?

That's what I thought so here's what I came up with--and what I've been writing about for all those decades. I deeply love the wilderness. I understand its heartbeat and feel completely at home on a deserted logging road.

My heart responds to the warmth and weight of a baby in my arms, a child's hug, gazing into a dog's eyes, the pain of losing a parent brain cell by brain cell, the peace that comes with being in my garden, disappointment, fear, joy, laughter, tears, time spent with dear friends.

In other words, for this writer at least, writing what I know means tapping into my emotions and placing them within the pages of a book.

 Successful fiction isn't about thoroughly researching a career or setting. Neither is it about accurately depicting police procedure or the most advanced computer hacking techniques. Successful fiction is about the characters and emotion is what brings characters to life. As a reader I care about characters who care about the people in their fictional world and as a writer, I will succeed only if I can look deep inside myself to where emotion lies.
(For the record, that's my grandson looking at his new nephew)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

#NewRelease -- Once Upon a Dream by Nan O’Berry -- #Giveaway

Like most little girls, I was brought up on the Disney Princesses. I adored Aurora, Cinderella, and Snow White. I believe in the happy ever after just like my character Gillian Malone, in the first novel of the Indigo Spring Series. So, it’s with great pleasure that I bring another adult tale into the series, with Once Upon a Dream.

Once Upon a Dream is a bit different than the first book, Prince Charming Wore Spurs, in that Karleigh Jordan is trying so hard to be the perfect daughter. Her brother, Emmett was killed and she is her father’s only living relative. But her dad is very set in his ways. Girls aren’t really heads of ranches, however with Emmett gone; his way of life is slipping through his fingers.

Growing up, I lost my father in my teen years. I felt the heavy burden of responsibility, which is why I search for that elusive happy ending. Is Karleigh a bit like me??? Perhaps, I think she’s better, smarter, pretties for sure. Perhaps Jason Malone is the hero I dreamed of, hoping that one day, a handsome cowboy would sweep me off my feet and make some of those every day worries go away. 
Did love work out for me? Yes, I was lucky to find the man of my dreams. So, Once Upon A Dream is dedicated to my husband who always makes life a little bit more mysterious and brings laughter to everyday settings. Which is what we all may want, that happy ending in Once Upon A Dream.

Karleigh Jordan is an old flame in Jason Malone’s past that he’s never forgotten. But the bitterness her father, Marcus, has exuded toward the entire Malone family after the death of Karleigh’s brother has finally reached a boiling point. When Marcus suffers a debilitating heart attack, Karleigh must try to fill his shoes and run the Flying J Ranch alone.

Karleigh discovers a huge debt that her father is having trouble paying, a crooked ranch foreman, and the overpowering fear for her father’s precarious health—and if that weren’t enough, there are cattle rustlers on the prowl.

Jason steps in to help Karleigh with whatever he can, and they discover their love is untainted by Marcus Jordan’s bitter accusations, even five years later. As their relationship flames to life from the burning embers of the past, Jason swears to help Karleigh hang on to the Flying J—even if it means taking a drastic step neither of them had planned or anticipated. This might be the beginning of the life they’d both hoped for—ONCE UPON A DREAM…

Read a little excerpt here....
     They were close enough that their shoulders brushed. So close, she could smell the scent of fresh cedar shakes and aftershave. She wanted him to take her into  his arms. Would they be stronger than they were five years ago? Would his kiss leave her mind blank, desperate for the intimacy that she’d left when he walked away? Her lips parted and a soft sigh rippled in the stillness of the night. He turned toward her. Eyes focused on her lips, the warmth of his arm slid around her waist and her hand braced her body against his bicep. Beneath the cotton of his shirt, the muscles hardened as he drew her close. His head lowered. Her eyes searched his face, half-wanting, half-fearing what they both knew would come.
     “Nothing is as beautiful as Karleigh in the moonlight.” The velvet ripple of his voice made her shiver as his lips captured hers. Behind her eyelids, lightning flashed and the bones of her body melted away. Nothing existed but the delight of his mouth upon hers. Her hands slid across the well-developed muscles of his chest, and she delighted at the rapid beat of his heart as it played beneath her fingers. She wanted to open the door, to pull him into the house, and let all the misery of the day wash away with the delight of his lovemaking skills. However, her Jordan pride took that moment to resurface. Hand upon his chest, she pushed him away.
     “Karleigh.” He whispered her name, and her heart turned over.
     “Don’t.” She held her head down to stare at the tips of his boots and placed her fingers on his lips. “Please, let’s not drag up something that can’t be.”
     “Karleigh, darlin’.”
     Tears pooled against her lashes. “Thanks for the ride home, Jason.” She turned, her fingers found the key in the doorway, and she let herself in. "Good night." she murmured and closed the door before he had a chance to challenge her. Leaning against the door, she waited. Her ears straining to catch one last sound as he walked away.
     “Karleigh? Honey? Can’t we talk about this?”
     Tears slid in slow progression down her cheeks as she turned. The bolt and the lock clicked into place. Her forehead against the grains of wood, she listened to the sound of his footsteps fading into the night.

Be sure to leave Nan a comment to be entered in a drawing for a free ecopy of her new book, ONCE UPON A DREAM.

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