Blog to Book Project — Prologue

A prologue is a scene or event that occurs prior to the point in which the book begins. This section is most often found in fiction. As a rule of thumb, if you have a prologue, you should also have an epilogue. 

The prologue should set the stage as it were. It provides information that helps the reader understand the following book. It can be written in character or as a direct address to the reader. 

A prologue could:

  • Provide the backstory to the events in the book. These might include historical events or dramatic moments that caused or influenced later actions. 
  • Intrigue the reader so that he or she continues reading. Consider how to make the information in the prologue arouse the interest of the reader. Can you make it suspenseful or mysterious? Does it trigger strong emotions? Do the characters find themselves in desperate situations in need of resolution?
  • Be told from a completely different point of view. Perhaps the villain imparts some useful information in the prologue while the main story is told through the eyes of the heroine.

Keep it short! A page or two at most should be enough. The idea is to pique a reader’s interest, not reveal information that is contained later in the book. 


Assignment: If you plan to include this section, write your prologue.

Get Aligned Now: Free Your Mind Through Body Intelligence, The Path to Achieve Aligned Results by Bethany Londyn

I’m currently on a quest to become a certified life coach and picked this book for this reason. Initially, I thought I had made a mistake. Some sentences in the introduction were so poorly worded and word choices were so unusual, that I thought perhaps the author was someone whose native language was not English. However, the author chose to include one of my favorite quotes by Joseph Campbell, and I decided to keep reading. 

I’m glad I did. Although I won’t say that every chapter resonated with me, quite a number did. Each chapter focuses on a single type of activity that you can do to start listening to your body to begin to make better choices. There were seven sections that used the imagery of a mighty tree as a representation of your body, from roots to the process of photosynthesis.

Each of those seven sections were further divided into daily activities. At the end of each chapter, there was a recap list, which was quite helpful. For example, one chapter was about minimizing distractions and included brief discussions on how applying the concepts of Feng Shui, Minimalism and saging your home environment could help you do that. 

As I mentioned, some of the chapters weren’t for me. I don’t feel that restless energies are trying to speak to me at 3 a.m. I am not in any way clairvoyant, nor do I regularly comune with a guardian angel. But that’s just me. Undoubtedly, there are those out there who would find tapping into those aspects of the unconscious a useful exercise. 

On the other hand, the sections on listening to your body, overwhelming yourself in gratitude, and seeing the world as one of abundance rather than scarcity were spot on in my opinion. So, in the end, I found Get Aligned Now: Free Your Mind Through Body Intelligence, The Path to Achieve Aligned Results by Bethany Londyn worth reading.

I received an ARC from Reedsy Discovery. You can read my review here.

Blog to Book Project — Title Page

Frontispiece

The frontispiece is a page with an illustration that is before the title page. It usually is facing the title page on the left hand (verso) side. This picture might be an illustration from the book, the author’s portrait or a dramatic rendition of the book’s topic. 

You don’t need a frontispiece, but it is a nice addition. In my books, I often have a smaller version of the cover illustration without any text. Remember, you should have permission to use or own the copyright for any illustration you include. 

Half-title Page 

The half-title page is a page which only has the title of the book on it. Sometimes the title has a bit of decorative script or ornamentation about it. The author’s name, subtitle, publisher and edition are not included on this page. The reverse is usually left blank.

The half-title page is counted as the first numbered page in a printed book even if it doesn’t actually have a number on it. It is part of the front matter and would use lowercase Roman numerals for numbering. It should be on the right side (recto). Hardback books still include the half-title page, but paperback books typically leave it out. 

A second half-title page is sometimes included after the front matter before the first page of the first chapter or part. It is almost always identical to the first half-title page. 

Title Page

The title page should have the title, subtitle, author’s name and publishing company and city (or city and state). It also may include editor’s name, illustrator’s name, translator’s name, edition of the book, series number and year of publication. 

You may also see:

With an introduction by….

Foreword written by…

Prologue by… 

The reverse side of the title page is often the copyright page. 

If you wish to add illustrations, creatively use font, or add some decorative bits, then feel free as long as the information on the title page is still clearly visible and legible. 

Assignment: Design your title page. If you will be including a half-title page, design that. If you have a frontispiece, set it up. 

Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico

Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico

Curanderos (healers) in Mexico still practice traditional herbal remedies learned centuries ago. It is only recently that scientists have begun to take these healing practices seriously. Study after study has validated the medicinal use of plants native to North America as well as some brought by the Spanish after the conquest. It’s time to reexamine the basic healing power in 34 common herbs used by traditional Mexican healers.

Included in the Herbs and Essential Oils Ultimate Bundles 2019.

Reviews on Amazon

Reviews on Goodreads

Have you read this book?

Let me know what you thought!

"Your Inspired Story" Writing Challenge

I decided to start the year off with a little writing challenge. I actually am going to work on several books I have in the works, so I may not have a completed book at the end of the 28-day challenge, but I will be further along (hopefully). I wasn’t able to do the Na-no-wri-mo challenge in November, and fell behind a bit in getting these books published. Maybe I’ll set up my own writing challenge later in the year, depending on how this one goes. 

If you’d like to join in the “Your Inspired Story” Writing Challenge sponsored by Bridget Cook-Burch which begins on January 6 you can join the Facebook group here and sign up for the email prompts here.

Blog to Book Project — Testimonials

A testimonial is a formal statement testifying to your book’s value and indirectly, your qualifications as an author. Whether you include them in your book or on your landing page, testimonials are powerful influencers that literally sing your book’s praises. 

If you plan on including testimonials in your book, you should try to gather them together BEFORE your book is published. Otherwise, you need to add them later and upload your manuscript again. 

You could request a testimonial from other writers who have read your book or experts on the topic your book focuses on. Look for endorsements from someone that inspires confidence in you or your book. So although your mom would love to write a testimonial, unless she is an expert in her field, maybe pass. 

Asking for a testimonial doesn’t have to be difficult. Begin your request with flattery because it will get you everywhere. Explain how this person or his or her work inspired you, changed your life, or means the world to you. Be sure to state that if this person needs a testimonial for a book or endorsement for a business, that you would be happy to reciprocate in this manner.

Then tell this person exactly what you are requesting from them which is a few lines about your book before a not too distant but not too imminent date. 

Finally, ask how he or she would like their name and credentials listed. Offer to include a link to a business or website. If someone prefers to remain anonymous, clarify if using their initials or a pseudonym would be acceptable.

Amazon has a Look Inside feature which could highlight those testimonials very well if you decide to have a testimonial page included in your book. If you do, place them as close to the beginning of the book as you can get since Amazon only shows the first few pages. 

Amazon also allows you to add testimonials to the book’s landing page via your Author Central page and they appear on the book’s landing page on Amazon. This is much simpler to update since you aren’t constantly uploading your manuscript for each new testimonial. However, you’ll need to decide where your testimonials would work best for you. 

Don’t go overboard with the number of testimonials you use. A page and a half of praises are probably sufficient. If you have more than that, consider including some in your book and others on your landing page so that readers aren’t overwhelmed with your greatness. 

Assignment: Gather testimonials to include either in your book or on your book’s landing page.

Reading Goals for 2020

This is the first time I set myself a challenge to complete a reading goal like this. Way back in the day, I remember getting relatives to sponsor me to read a certain number of books for some school event or other. I’m not looking for sponsors or anything for this, I just thought it would be fun to complete. If you want to join me, feel free to post your own progress either here or on the book review posts that will appear monthly.

Blog to Book Project — Conclusion or Epilogue

An epilogue is found mostly in fiction books. This is a short section that concludes the end of the story. It might take place immediately after the events of the story or there could be a leap of years or decades. It can also be used to segue into another series of events that are covered in a sequel to the book.

In a non-fiction book, this section could be called the Conclusion. A conclusion wraps up any loose ends the book doesn’t address. It might talk about what happened to the people mentioned in the book later or if the events in the book predated or caused other historically significant occurrences.

Both an epilogue and conclusion are written as if they were part of the book. If the point of view is different than that of the main text, then this section is properly termed an Afterword. 

The Conclusion or Epilogue should only be a page or two. If you can’t wrap things up properly at that point, either continue in a sequel or go back to the main book and add more chapters. 

Assignment: Write the Conclusion of your book. Is everything summed up nicely? Are loose ends tied off? Will there be another book that continues the story? This would be the place to mention that. 

Why We Left: An Anthology of American Women Expats compiled and edited by Janet Blaser

why we left.jpg

Why We Left: An Anthology of American Women Expats is a collection of 27 essays written by women who relocated to Mexico. Some of the women may be familiar names. Roxana Bangura from the Bangura Chronicles wrote about raising her daughter as a polyglot in Mexico. Holly Hunter, the better half of Dan Gair, wrote about her side of the Mexico Diaries adventures. Dianne Hofner Saphiere from VidaMaz wrote about not being in Kansas anymore.

The women were honest about the struggles they had to create the life they love in Mexico. All of the women told their stories from the “other side” after prevailing against discrimination, income loss, relationship challenges, and just plain ol’ culture shock. All in all, it’s an inspiring “happy expat” read.

My hope is that this book does two things_ That it inspires others who may be feeling an urge, an itch, something deep down that just won't go away, to live a different life, outside of the proverbial box, where happ.jpg

So why did these women leave their home countries? Some left because of the current political climate. Others left to provide life experiences for their children they would not otherwise have. Some women came for the culture, others for the cost of living. Some lost their marriages to Mexico, others found love and stayed.

What did these women find in Mexico? Purpose. Simplicity. Patience. Confidence. Seem like pretty good trade-offs to me.

I would have liked to have seen more stories from women who chose voluntary exile after their spouses were deported, but then perhaps they don’t fit the criteria of “expats”. Most of the women in this anthology were also living in areas full of gringos or small towns near those epicenters, San Miguel de Allende, Mazatlan, Lake Chapala, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel and so on. Perhaps that’s the book I need to write…

Regardless, Why We Left: An Anthology of American Women Expats is an interesting collection and I’m sure you’ll love reading about the process of crafting a life you love in Mexico as told by these 27 brave women.

four stars