Book Brief: Counter Currents

Counter Currents - historical fiction by Shaun McLaughlinCounter Currents
by Shaun J. McLaughlin
Genre: Historical Fiction
Word count: 104,000

Counter Currents, the 2013 silver medal winner for Historical Literature Fiction – Modern (set 1500-1940 AD) from by Dan Poynter’s Global Ebook Awards, is set in the Patriot War, an almost forgotten border conflict, where rebels attacked Canada 13 times from the USA. Among the raiders was Bill Johnston, the St. Lawrence River historical legend.

Ryan, 19, arrives in colonial Canada at the outbreak of the 1838 Patriot War. He is drawn into Bill Johnston’s world of smuggling and secret societies set in the beauty and grandeur of the Thousand Islands. Ryan falls for Johnston’s daughter, Kate, and is coached by her older cousin Ada on how to capture Kate’s heart. Ada develops feelings for Ryan and he in turn grapples with his attraction to Ada.

Circumstances drive Ryan into a web of piracy and rebellion. Each step Ryan takes closer to a peaceful life as Kate’s husband is matched by deeper entanglement in a glorious but lost cause. Tugged by the opposing currents of romance and war, Ryan struggles to reconcile his family history, his duty and his heart. The story builds on real events surrounding the Patriot War and stays close to historic facts. It is history illuminated by fiction.

This book is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. Continue reading

Author Tips and Tricks

smart owlHere are a few tips, tricks, hints, and “did you knows” that we’ve been accumulating over the past few months. I hope they help!

Shipping to a library? Whether it’s a school library or an actual standalone library, make sure the word library is on the outside of your package in the ship-to address. Depending upon what Post Office you’re at, that will make your package eligible for “library rate.”  (Some postal workers actually haven’t heard of this, and there is a debate over where it has to be from AND to a library, or just one or the other.) Library rate is by far the LEAST expensive method of transit available. If that doesn’t work (it’s worth a try, right?), you can use media mail as long as there is no personal correspondence in the package.

Signing books and peripheral materials? Don’t use the same signature you use for your legal and financial dealings! You’re setting yourself up for identity theft if you do.

You can edit a facebook comment. Just go to the comment, hover over the top right-hand corner and you will see a little pencil. Hover over that and a little bubble will pop up – click on that.
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#twitter #hashtags for novices

hashtag hashOnce upon a time, I believed Twitter to be a site filled with dull people reporting about their dreary days or people bombarding me with tweets asking me to buy stuff. Yes, those exist on Twitter but it is a useful social platform and as I have gradually become more au fait with it, I have discovered a good way to use it to reach a target audience and gain interest in your tweets—use a hashtag.

What is a hashtag? It’s almost anything that begins with the hashtag symbol “#”. You will find silly hashtags #eatingsweets and sensible ones #newrelease. They are a way of organising information on Twitter. So, if you want to find out about new releases, you’d type #newrelease in the search box on Twitter. This will direct you to a Twitter page with all tweets using this hashtag. Continue reading

Eysol: Eye Care for Editors

EysolWe know. Editors work hard. After a grueling day of reading all those words, your eyes are screaming for relief. But regular eye drops are not going to get rid of that stinging caused by all the errant commas, misplaced modifiers, and just really bad grammar. You need something industrial: something you know will make you forget what you just read. Your wish is now granted!

The professionals at Indies Unlimited Laboratories have perfected a new product just for you: Eysol Eye Wipes!

That’s right, now you can find relief after reading a horrendous manuscript! Just pluck an Eysol Eye Wipe from the container, apply to your eyes as directed, and you’ll forget every torturous word! We even left out the second ‘e’ in Eyesol so you’d have something to correct! Because we care that much! Remember, the burning shows it’s working!

Use as directed. Not to be taken internally. Common side effects include painful ocular burning, stinging, swelling, and redness; temporary blindness; sore throat from screaming due to painful ocular burning and stinging; incontinence; and memory loss.

Amp Up Your Story Development

where do you get your story ideas?Over the past couple of nights, I’ve had a sequential dream. It’s turning into a really cool book … one day. It got me thinking. How do you come up with your book ideas? Typically, the dream thing isn’t my best fodder for novels. This one just happens to keep returning night after night. I keep a notebook in my nightstand for those occasions. I’ve been known to get up at 3:00 in the morning and blast off ideas into a Word document just so I won’t forget them in the morning.

As I said, I don’t normally get my inspiration from dreams. The Van Stone series is more of a planned series, fictionalizing events and adventures that kids would likely not experience. As with many of you, my characters lead the way and talk to me way too much. At this time, I have five different adventures conceptualized for the series. I’ve actually written parts of most of them (which is why it’s taking so long to get out #2 in the series.) Continue reading