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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Google+ 101: I have a what do I do? Vol. #3.

So, if you have been following my new series of blogs about Google+, you should have already created your Gmail account and Google+ profile. You also should have a pretty good sense of how to navigate the menus on the landing page of Google+.


Now, it's time to start connecting with people. In order to get followers, you need to follow first. You can't just throw yourself out in the crowd and stand there with your head shrunk in. You have to jump up and down and wave your hand. "I'm over here...and I'm interesting."

On your Google+ home page, you should see this at the top.

To search for people, profiles and pages that are interesting to you, type a keyword(s) into the search bar. For this example, I have entered "science fiction" into the search bar (since I write young adult / science fiction).

The following image is what will come up.

"Science Fiction Book Club" is the first search result. That sounds interesting. I can probably meet some readers via that page. Which brings me to this... pages are similar to Facebook pages, but they can do much more. I will cover building your own page in a future Google+ 101 post.

After I click on the result I want, I click the "Add" button and the little pop up box appears. By default, I already have following, friends, family and acquaintances categories that I can file this page under. I want to follow them and I think there might be readers there, so I click the box with "Following" and then I create new circle for "Readers" and check that box. If you look back up to the original menu bar in this post, beneath the search bar, you see All, Friends, Family, Acquaintances, More and Explore. If I only want to see posts from the people I have tagged as Friends, then I can click on Friends on that menu bar. If I click on More, I will open up the other circle categories that I have added. If I only want to see posts created by readers, then I will click "Readers".

STEP 1: Now, for the fun stuff. Notice on the page where it says "In their circles" and there are 2,252 people. These people have an interest in science fiction. They might also like my book. I can click on "Add" and then place them in a "Following" or "Reader" circle, whatever I choose. Please note though that Google+ will limit how many people you can add each day, but it's quite a lot.


...many times, when I follow someone, they will follow me back. Now, what do I do with that? Do I blast them with my book 24 times a day? NO! But, I do go to YouTube or search the web looking for cool articles or videos about space, aliens, future technology, time travel, etc and I post those types of things.

STEP 2: The next thing you want to do is scroll around on their page and look at their posts. If you find one you like, then click the +1 button, or better yet, reshare it. They will be notified when you perform either action, and oh, they may follow you. If they follow you, then they will see your posts and so may their extended circles. They may +1 and reshare you!

STEP 3: Now, the next grouping of search results are for Communities. This is where  you can really start to interact with people drawn together by a common interest. If I click on the Science Fiction community, their landing page comes up.

Each community will have their "About" section. Please do yourself a favor and read their rules-especially their policy on spamming books, or other products you may be trying to sell. 

When you first go into a community, it will have a "Join" button, or "Ask to Join". Click that if you're interested. Once you join a community, you will be defaulted to receive notifications when someone posts to that community. If you prefer to check in when you want and not have the notifications ringing your bell, 

you can make that change by clicking on the switch located directly above the graphic.

This is the part I love about Google+ communities over Facebook groups. Notice below the graphic for the community, there are categories: All posts, Spam Trap Post here..., General & Introduction, etc. Anytime someone posts inside this community, they are forced to choose a category for their post. 


Yes! As a moderator of a community, you can add whatever categories as you want. In my Book Review Depot community, we have tons of categories. Grammar and Punctuation Tips, Book Trailers, Reviews, Marketing Tips, Writing Tips, etc. If someone wants to see if there is help for whether to use "lay" or "lie", they can look in the Grammar & Punctuation folder. Sure enough, there is a post with a link to an article about "lay" and "lie". (Oh, and the articles is saved in my Google Drive, completely connected  and I can control who can see it, edit it, etc.) This makes posts much easier to find when looking for something specific. It also means a new member can easily enjoy a post that may have been made 3 months ago.

STEP 4: Your homework assignment is to go into your Google+ and search for at least three keywords that represent your interests. Click on the pages, profiles and communities that come up in your search. Follow them, or create a special circle for them. Also, click on five to ten of the people that are following them and add them to your circles as well.

STEP 5: Return to your "Home Page" and you will see the posts made by the people that you have chosen to follow or add to your circles.

Until next time...


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Google+ 101: Let's get started. Vol. #2

Okay, so hopefully I grabbed your attention with the first Google+ 101 post: Here's Why? I have been chirping about how wonderful Google+ is to my various groups to the point they probably want to stick me in a trunk and throw away the key, but it's only because I love them...

Now, resisters, the one thing I am hearing from you is...

"Google+ is too complicated" 

Let me make it easy for you. Today, I will start with the very, very basics.

STEP 1: Sign up for a Gmail email account if you don't have one. Click here to sign up for a Google Gmail account. A single user name and passwords gets you into everything Google. If you already have a gmail account, figure out the password you have forgotten or reset it. If you haven't forgotten the password, great job! Go to Step 2.

STEP 2: Once your account is set up, go to Your screen should look like this.

 This box... how you will access everything. To open up Google+, click on the +our name) button. Your home page in Google+ will come up. Once you start following people and adding people to your circles, you will see the posts that those people have made here.

Click on this button        to open up the Google products menu, which looks like this:

Notice, there is also "More" at the bottom. Google Wallet, shopping, finance, photos, books, and more are there. From this menu, you can access most of the things you need in your life that don't breathe.

The other button that looks like the  bell  is your notifier button. If it has a red number on it like this  someone has reshared, +1'd, commented or added you to a circle. If you have turned the notifiers on in the communities you join, then you will also get a notification if someone posts in that community. Click on the bell and it will open all of your activity. Click on each one and +1, reshare or comment back to them.

On the left hand side of the Google+ home page you will see a button that looks like this.

When you click on it, it will open up the Google+ menu and looks like this:

This is where you can set access your profile to make changes, find people, look at photos, join communities schedule events, join hangouts and create pages, which are like FB pages only they do more. We will explore that further in a separate lesson.

STEP 3. Play around. Now, you know how to get to everything, so this should get you started. The best way to learn is to get in there and just play around.

Until next time....


p.s. if you enjoyed this blog, please click on the +1 button just below here, so that others may enjoy it, too!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Book Review The Emerald of Phaunos

Flavored Reviews
by Ginger Gelsheimer

The Emerald of Phaunos
by Scott Collins

Click here to buy The Emerald of Phaunos or read additional reviews.

Magical adventure complete with evil lemon-eating king and slimy villains!

4 stars!

Brief synopsis: Daniel, Aidan, Olivia and Lilly continue on their journey from when we last saw them in the first book, Scepter. Queen Iris of the fairies gave them the scepter and they are now hunting for the jewels that give it power. The first one they decide to look for is the emerald, which holds magic power for the earth.

Of course, they are also still on the run from the evil king, Argyle. He is determined to have them captured so he can torture and punish them for threatening his collection squads. He needs his cinnabar and and he needs it now. More children, more slaves!.

The story is perfect for middle-grade children and preteens who enjoy the fantasy genre. Big kids will love the story, too, but it is written for a junior high level. The story unfolds in mystical places including beneath the white mountain and the Arcelot Forest. Scott Collins does a great job bringing the reader into the scene, especially when the forest is coming to life.

Originality: Mr. Collins has created an original story with this group of children who each have their special talents. They each play an important role in their survival as they try to save the people from the tyrant king, Argyle and hope to find their families. The creatures they face along the way are colorful, including something like a gigantic jellyfish, half-men-half werewolf diegylis and strange gorillas. I did get hung up a little bit with the building of many, many campfires and places to sleep for the night, but I also knew that meant something was right around the corner.

Characters: The characters are believable, even possessing the riff and raff between Daniel and Aidan as two brothers would. Just because they are in a jeopardy situation, doesn’t mean that would go away and Collins does a great job of keeping them real and true to their age. I like Lilly’s character. She’s blind, but never let’s it stop or discourage her and she remains strong and independent. I liked the addition of Zack, but his stuttering was a little distracting.

Collins does a fantastic job creating animosity toward his villain. Argyle is evil ogre of a king. He starves his people, not even allowing them the scraps from the floor, and he eats lemons. His heart is small, and black as coal. He works his people to their deaths. He possesses magic that will be dangerous for the children as they try to evade him and find the other jewels.

Then, there is Fracik, who is bad, yet you feel for him. His memories of his long lost wife and daughter haunt him. I kept wondering if he was going to turn into a good guy.

Recommendation: This book goes well with chocolate chip cookies and ice cold milk. I would highly recommend this series to middle-grade children who enjoy a magical adventure and learning a few lessons along the way.


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This review was from Book Review Depot, “What Am I Reading Now Blog Tour!” To find out more about Book Review Depot, click here! Book Review Depot FAQs. Mention this tour and get one credit toward your reviews!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Write Place: Author Showcase: Ginger Gelsheimer and Christina K...

So, this post has sort of morphed into a journal where I can share my favorite things, random things, and strange things with you.

It started with this..

Christina and I were featured on Author Showcase by Chameleon Author...

The Write Place: Author Showcase: Ginger Gelsheimer and Christina K...:      Quest of the Hybrid by Ginger Gelsheimer and Christina Keats is the first book in the Aurora Conspiracy Trilogy. Nineteen-year-...

Then I thought it would be fun to share some other things with you...

Come write with me - sometimes when I am working on one of my latest projects, I will post the link to the Google doc here. If you click it, you can actually come into my "writing patio" and see what I am working on real time. The words could even change on the page before you!  Enter Ginger's writing patio!

My favorite song

So, I was listening to Counting Stars by One Republic the other day and it occurred that it was written for me! If you did know me, I'm can imagine that you would agree!

Here are the lyrics Counting Stars by OneRepublic.

Oh yeah, and I like coffee with my cream! Love my Keurig!

My favorite videos - and Sam Claflin could be a good cast for Marcus in Quest of the Hybrid with his smile! He just need to give him some shaggy dark hair!

My favorite celebrities - How could I forget to mention that I am a Johnny Depp fanatic? I fell in love with the guy when he played the preppie Glen in Nightmare on Elm Street. He is like fine wine...

My art work-

This is a charcoal drawing I did years ago on 16x20 paper

I love Dali. This is an oil painting I am working on in his honor  "Tribute".

These beauties are from my garden!

So, I find it interesting that there are so many different flavors of cat and dog food at the store. Hmmmmm...last time I checked Fido wasn't doing the grocery shopping. Although, I will say that my black lab Arnold does not like lamb.

I love Lindsey Stirling! I had no idea you could even play a violin the way she does! She's amazing!

I like to spell the color that is made with white and black as grey! You will notice that in all of my books.

I figured it was time to share this recipe because it is one of my favorite ways to grill chicken and I'm pretty darn good on the grill...just sayin'

Key West Chicken


3 Tablespoons of soy sauce (less salty is fine)
1-Tablespoon honey
1-Tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1-teaspoon lime juice
1-teaspoon chopped garlic (yes I cheat on garlic and buy the organic minced in a jar)
however many skinless, boneless chicken breasts up to 4 breast halves


In a shallow bowl, or even a 1 gallon zip lock bag, mix all of the ingredients. Trim the breast halves of fat and cut desired proportions. Marinate the chicken for an hour, making sure to turn halfway through if necessary to coat all sides. 

Heat grill for direct heat. Grill chicken for 2-3 minutes then flip and pour remaining marinade over chicken. Cook 2-3 minutes and flip again, but turn horizontally to add crisscrossed grill marks. Flip again in 2-3 minutes and continue this process until chicken is cooked thoroughly to 165 degrees.

Remove chicken from grill, drizzle with your favorite cheese if you desire and wrap in aluminum foil for 2-3 minutes.

Sometimes, I throw the chicken on a bun and have as a sandwich, sometimes I mix with rice. You can also use a meat tenderizer to thin out the breasts for the sandwiches. I leave them thick most of the time!

OKAY - so this revelation is the coolest thing ever for me! It's been there for some time, but I finally expressed it in words. I make a living at helping others follow their dreams! I can't ask for anything better than that! If you haven't already, check out my site at where creative people like to hang out. I'm always there!

Look at this beauty from my garden! Beautiful butterfly!

This is the best gift I can give you guys! Here is a shooting star that you can wish upon each day! LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!!

I'm so excited to have finally put a trailer together for one of my books! Here it is for The Dark Days series - Inspired by The Hunger Games prequel. Would love to know what you think!

Here is a fun tribute I did to Steven Spielberg when asked by Jaipdeep at Goodreads who I would like to live 1 day in the life of!

So, my mother took me to see this crazy villain when I was a kid and I have been scared of him for 30+ years!

So this year, I faced my fears and entered the Michael Myers' Halloween haunted house at Universal! Here is the entrance, pay close attention to the upstairs windows. They did a fantastic job with the haunted house and at one point there was an open room with 10 or 12 lurking Michael's with raised butcher knives. For the cherry on top, they had one last Michael waiting outside after you exited the house to scare the beejesus out of you! If he had not gotten the people in front of us, I would have peed my pants for sure! 

Way to go Tampa Bay Lightning on your 5-1 win over the Detroit Redwings in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Round 1 Playoffs! Had awesome seats right off the glass! Excellent game full of fights and points! Just how I like 'em in hockey!

What a great Sunday! Super productive this morning, but taking a break watching O Brother Where Art Thou?  I can't help but sing with these guys every time I watch this scene!  Love it!

What is your scariest experience? 

Is it...


Bless you Johnny Depp! I loved you when you were just Glen!

My most terrifying moment was being trapped in a severe lightning storm with my daughter who was about 2 and my ex. We had hiked up about a mile in Pikesville, Kentucky and it was a beautiful day. All of the sudden, bolts were crashing down around us and the only thing other than us were the trees. Thank you Pat and Ron Saros for coming to our rescue!... many times!

Check back often for more deep thoughts and entertaining things! 


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Friday, March 21, 2014

Movie Review Divergent


No stop up there, you've come too far...

Okay, there's no help for people like you...

Yes, I did go see Divergent today! I had to see it for myself before all the buzz starts hitting the net because there is no doubt, I will accidentally see something...just like I know what happens to Tris even though I haven't read book 2 or 3 yet! Ahhhhh..okay back to the movie.

I must say going in that I wasn't sure about Shailene Woodley playing Tris. She just didn't look tough enough, and I'm not that familiar with her as an actress, but I think she did a fantastic job! Great pick casting director. Loved Theo James as Four and thought he and Shailene had believable chemistry. I have to laugh because most of the other characters are quite different in the movie than how I pictured them from reading the book. Though different, I do think Ashley Judd was a great mom and I enjoyed Maggie Q as Tori.

I was excited to see the zip line scene from the building and it was everything and more. The scene was drawn out to build the adrenaline as Tris would have felt-I think I even held my breath. Not only did it give you a feel for flying, it also presented a birds-eye perspective of what the once-great City of Chicago had become.

Another one of my favorite scenes from the book is when Tris almost falls from the old ferris wheel. The movie cuts this one short with her never in danger. They climb up, get their view of the enemy flag and next thing you know they are on the hunt for it. I thought this was a great moment for Tris and Four to move forward in their relationship in the book, so I was a little sad not to see it here. No butterknife fact Peter is barely a character.

They did alter several things in the movie which they often have to do to make everything fit-like the mockingjay pin coming from Prim. Tris doesn't see her mom Natalie on visiting day. Tris and the initiates are working, and her mom has taken a risk to try to find her so that she can inform her of the danger she's in for being Divergent. I don't want to spoil anything more in case some of you are still reading that haven't seen it yet!

Now, obviously, you can only show so much in a movie and the director did a good job to include most of the action scenes that people want to, or expect to see so that was great. That said, they did not go deep into building the relationships that Roth built in her books. It was a true struggle that weighed on Beatrice when she had to choose Dauntless or her family, but you don't feel how much in the movie. The relationship with Al is hardly touched, so the intensity when he is involved in the group that threatens to throw her over the railing, you wouldn't get that if you had not read the book. And then of course, how big of a deal it really is when she won't forgive him and he commits suicide. You know Will is her friend, but they are written to be much closer in their small group in the book.

Overall, I really loved the movie! I had intentionally waited to read Insurgent until after I saw it, so now it's time for me to go!


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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Google+ 101: Here's Why You Google. Vol. #1

I honestly should be a poster child for Google+, but IT'S JUST THAT COOL! I'm still riding with training wheels, but it's love at first sight! I just bought a shiny new shovel to bury my old know who, when I am completely ready to move on. 

That said there is one problem...


Don't be afraid. It won't bite.

So, here's what I'm going to do to help you. I will blog very simple Google+ tips (at first) to get you started. Trust me, if you follow the tips, you will be a pro in no time, and I promise I will keep them short and sweet....well except for this one, but that was because I had to make pleasant introductions!

So, why is Google+ so cool?

Because I posted this...

...on my @#*EB@## account (it's like Voldemort) where I have almost 500 friends - hee hee or so I thought - probably not since I only received five likes. I think writers have that in common, our friends think we got lost deep inside some cave.

Anyway, I posted the Happy St. Patty's Day Keep Calm message in two Google+ communities with over 200,000 members between them. So far, I have received 81+1's and 21 reshares. People sure like the Irish.

Okay, serious for just a sec, the communities were related to the Hunger Games because I was hoping to engage with  readers who enjoyed YA Dystopian fiction. I would be interesting to hear the main points that make them so fascinating to them. I love these books, too and can't wait for Friday (Divergent). BUT...what is it that really makes it tick for a 15-16 year old? I am guessing they like the strong female characters...sorry guys, no more damsel in distress.

Back to the WHY?...these likes and reshares will assist with increasing visibility with THE largest search engine in the world. We aren't Yahooing it or Binging it folks, we are Googling it. It's a fact. Like dinosaurs. They exist. (you know who that is for).

And remember - it's a marathon, not a sprint!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Author Hangout - How to Find Your Readers!

Having a hard time finding potential readers for your book?

So, as an author, there are some great things about being in the year 2014 like-and this one causes me nightmares-what if I had to type my books on an old typewriter-non-electric, no backspace and no delete key? Ahh, it's a wonder anyone ever published anything. Of course, think of the poor sap that had to line up the letters on the old letterpress!

However, today you simply do not have the luxury to write and only write...oh no, you must spend equal or more time marketing your grand masterpiece once it is complete. With social media, there are more ways to market than you can imagine...and how do you use them in the most efficient way to get the best bang for your buck, or in this case your time?

Well, sorry folks, I do not have all the answers for you, but I did attend this Book Marketing Tools-Author Hangout event today "How to Find Your Readers" featuring a top selling author, Cristin Harber, who is self-published and has figured out a way to sell 10,000 copies per month.

Click here to purchase Winter's Heat (Titan #1)

Fine, if you are already there...selling 10,000 copies per month, then why are you here? GO WRITE! If you are not, I highly recommend you check out the recording. If I have your attention, please click on the link below to do so.

Click here to watch the recording: How to Find Your Readers

I don't want to spoil the show for you, so I'm only going to highlight a few key points that Cristin attributed to her success:

1. Continually feed the Beast - the "Beast" being Amazon. Content, content, content people. You cannot be Margaret Mitchell anymore and sell one novel or you will be "Gone with the Wind".

2. When using Twitter, or any social media for that matter, do not simply blast your book hundreds and thousands of times. Instead, get into conversations with people. Cristin said every time she tweets "non-bylink" tweets, she gains followers...and they eventually find her bylinks. Make yourself interesting!. Do you want to hear about someone else's book 24/7? No, probably not. If you do, your weird, but we'll still like you anyway.


  • Be yourself
  • Engage naturally
  • Engage frequently
  • Engage from multiple sources

3. Cross promotion - Cristin's word to describe this tool was HUGE. Have a group of fellow authors and cross promote each others' works. If you don't have any friends, we welcome you to join our Book Review Depot community here. Book Review Depot Google+ Community, or for you resisters still over on Facebook (we'll talk about that later) you may join us here. Book Review Depot FB.

So, that is all I am going to tell you, but if you are trying to figure out some new methods for marketing your book and finding your readers, do yourself a favor and check it out!


p.s. If you enjoyed this post, please click the +1 button just below here so that other people might be able to enjoy it, too!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Book Review Eno the Thracian Series

Flavored Reviews from the Indie Universe
by Ginger Gelsheimer

Eno the Thracian series
by C.B. Pratt

Click here to purchase Hero for Hire
Click here to purchase The Stone Gods
Click here to purchase The Dark Mountain

One of my favorite all-time series!

5 stars!

Brief synopsis: Eno the Thracian is a “Hero for Hire” and as such, he travels far and wide to handle the problems the humans face that are associated with the temperamental gods-regardless of their origin. He’s witty as hell, charming-a real ladies' man and that I can attest to by my school-girl crush on him and he always delivers when called upon.

I have loved the Greek gods since I was a kid and watched the original Clash of the Titans, oh Harry Hamlin and that hair. I’ve probably seen the movie a hundred times. I own the Odyssey but have never tackled it, but will before I die for sure. I’m also a fan of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, but this series has been the most fun. Eno could have been a hero in the Trojan War but decided there were more important issues at hand like dealing with Hekate, Queen of the Underworld, helping out the High Priest of Amun in Egypt and repairing the damage he did to Pan when he killed his three ugly daughters.

The series consists of three novels so far: Hero for Hire, The Stone Gods and the most recent, The Dark Mountain. They have all led me on a total adventure. There are five books planned for the series and I can’t wait for the next one when Eno ventures to Babylon!

Originality: Ms. Pratt did a fantastic job putting an original spin on ancient tales. The series is told from a first person point-of-view from Eno himself. She allows you to step inside his mind and his feelings, especially in The Dark Mountain, when he sets off on a journey to solve his own mystery. She branches out to include some of the lesser-known gods rather than write another tale about Hercules, Zeus or Poseidon, but Eno's personality alone makes this an original gem.

Characters: I’ve already admitted to having a crush on Eno and even experienced those slightly jealous feelings when he finally takes an interest in one of the many ladies that try to entice him. His character is believable and engaging and it's a wonderful bonus that he adds humor along the way with his quick wit. The gods are well developed, creating the personas you might expect with an added flare of quirkiness - did I mention the crunchy orange things...

Beware that Eno will suck you in and you might be as frustrated and temperamental as those gods when you have to wait for Book 4!

Recommendation: This book goes well with a large, cold stein of ale and Cheetos! Just don’t finish the whole bag as you’re turning page after page. 


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