Thursday, July 30, 2015

Liu Wedding



Monday, July 20, 2015

The Best Part

The Fourth of July for me, this year, was rather fun and I want to share.

This year's fireworks from the boat
First, let me say that I knew in advance my daughter and I would be driving down to stay with my parents for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. My dad's brothers (plus their wives, of course... and Uncle Clark's children) were coming from Louisiana to visit and enjoy fireworks from the lake behind my brother's lake house (picture at left). So I knew it would be a good time and I was going to be there.

In advance of the occasion, I pushed myself to write my first, free, fantasy estory and get it online for my family members to download, read and review. I was in such a hurry, in fact, that I had my roommate read it instead of my usual beta reader. (As a writer, I have a lot of trouble getting reader review of my work and reviews build readership. It is really kind of depressing to spend so much time writing and grow my readership so slowly. So I was counting on my family to help me out with some honest reviews to help draw new readership.)

Sigh. It has been over two weeks since my aunts and two of the three attending cousins agreed to read the story. I guess they didn't like it because I have yet to receive a single review. Oh, well. Family is family. Even Jesus had trouble getting support from his. Here is a link to the free title if you, my actual readers, are interested in reading a short story (It goes to my webpage where multiple ereader platforms are listed): 

Before the fireworks, we all were at my brother's house and had just eaten dinner... (Seriously, I think I gained 7 pounds over the weekend!)... when my baby brother Skyped in over Mom's laptop. Living in Thailand, his days and ours are disjointed so we don't get to talk to him much. But he had something important to tell everyone: He is married. (Darn it! I wanted to be the one to elope on July 3! He is such a thief. I am SO disowning him.)

Okay. So all of this is pretty eventful but it is not yet the best part. Here is the best part. Just before the holiday weekend, I got word from my longtime reader and very first fan that she was traveling from the U.K. to the U.S.A. for her honeymoon. (It is rather a nontraditional honeymoon, as the newlywed couple is traveling with two friends. But it makes them happy and builds good memories, and that's what counts. So good for them.) Their vacation destination was, of all places, Wisconsin Dells but they would be staying for the first few days in Madison. My fan requested a meeting.

As luck would have it, my parents live only about an hour's drive from Madison. So Anne and I stayed an extra day with my parents and I drove out to Madison to meet my first-ever fan, Mrs. Sorcha Liu. When I got there, she presented me with every single one of my printed books -- even one that I discontinued, to be signed for her collection. And that was the best part of my long and eventful holiday weekend. I came home the next day and slept for almost a week straight.

Me with my #1 Fan



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fired?

This morning, I met with the job coach who has been "working with" me [aka obstructing me] for the past year. Smartly, I prepared a short Powerpoint presentation in preparation. You see, I actually keep quite during the times when I have been unable to search for a "real" job, which come for various reasons (an example would be knowing it is nearing a time when I am going to need a week off to move my daughter in or out of her university housing). Right now it is summer and I am, again, not job searching because I am working on the can-stle while the weather is warm enough to work outside.

So I sat down in the lady's office to talk about not being able to find a part-time traditional job and I presented her with my thumb drive. She didn't want to look at my presentation at first, but she did comply after I explained a little. I have to say: It was rather gratifying to see her opinion of my writing almost instantly change.

Long story short, I have been let go from the job searching agency. But I walk away with a new follower (and the free computer I acquired from the agency during my job search). Then I came home and made a new book trailer. Have a look:

 Please note that I have also written a FREE story that shares some characters with the Legend of Lord Randall Castle eseries. Its title is "The Last Day" and it is available everywhere except Amazon. (Amazon does not support permafree ebooks.)

The best place to find it? IMHO it's Smashwords. Here is the link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/555437

Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New Ebook Release (Yay!)

I recently changed e-publishers to make my ebooks available through more ereading platforms and I am very excited to now be able to offer some of my ebooks for perma-free download. So excited am I, in fact, that I promptly began writing a short story to publish. I intended it to be 2000 words. It wound up being roughly 5000. Sigh. Oh, well.

Nevertheless, I made the short ebook a free download and posted it to Smashwords this morning. If it passes the scrutiny of their team, my newest title should hit ibooks, kobo, Amazon and others. Meanwhile, it is available to download (for free) from https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/555437 . But you are already reading this blog, so allow me to tantalize you with the first few words...

The Last Day
Of Avalon, Volume 1 by Beth Durkee
copyright 2015 Elizabeth W. Durkee
All Rights Reserved.


This is the story of how a druid named Melador, who was known in his adult life as the eyes and ears of Saint Mary, came with his family to live on the Scilleian isle. It is also the truth behind how his older brother was believed to be lost on a foolhardy quest after a false legend, the legend of Lord Randall Castle...

 

Before the rending apart of science from enchantment, the island of Avalon was sinking for more than a thousand years. This was due in large part to the conflict between physics and magic in the druidstone (known to scientists as Muscravite) which ran through the core of the island’s sole mountain.

Through the generations, Avalon’s druid population progressively migrated away from their homeland to new homes on the larger landmasses of Albion, Hibernia and other parts of Europe. They moved in villages as the sea water swallowed shores in its climb toward the temple atop Avalon’s mountain – the temple in which King Arthur rests to this very day.

To this same temple, a wizard by the name of Lord Randall came to study the art of magic in all its forms and transcribe the druids’ many books on the subject, for druid priests were known to be the world’s foremost masters of magic. In exchange for sharing their magical knowledge with him, he promised Avalon’s protectors, the dragonlords, a new home.

He commissioned them to bring dwarves from his homeland in the Albion highlands to mine Avalon’s mountain for druidstone. The excavated stone was then cut into blocks, enchanted with a powerful spell of forgetting and sent to Lord Randall’s family lands, where it was laid by the dragons transporting it into a castle like none the world had ever seen.

At the end of this age, when rising water touched the gates of the last inhabited village, the final stones of the castle were set. The dragonlords then went with Lord Randall and the descendants of his dwarf allies (for dwarves are created of the substance of magic so are unaffected by the life prolonging properties of druidstone) to their new home.

Before they moved their attentions to the magical affairs of Albion, however, the dragonlords made sure all their druid kindred were safely away from their ancestral home. All, that is, except the few priests who remained to tend the temple and the sleeping king.

When the final departure day arrived and the last ship was about to be boarded, there were but two dragonlords present. However there were three dragons. Two were the mounts of their lords. The other had come to transport the last apprentices of the age. Their names were Thored and Aeduuard, and they were both sons of high priests. The young men had stayed to see their families off on the voyage to new homes in Normandy. It was the last they would see of their loved ones until their apprenticeships were complete. It was also the last their loved ones would remember ever seeing them, for the spell of forgetting had also been cast over the dragonlords’ rings of station.

On this last day in the season of Avalon, Thored and Aeduuard were supposed to be helping their respective families. But they were so excited about their upcoming adventure that all they seemed able to do was chat with each other via magical communications. A touch to an amulet each wore around his neck and a simple spell gave them the means to speak to each other across any distance – as long as they stayed away from large deposits of uncut Muscravite.
 
Is your interest piqued? You can download the full ebook for free at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/555437 . Please leave it a kind rating/review when you are finished reading. My goal is to reach as many new readers as possible with this story.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Castle Project

I am not crazy ...unless craziness and genius are the same thing.

As a divorced and disabled author with no publishing house, I have few resources and less money. So I need to be creative. Fortunately for me, I am occasionally able to be just that. Please check out the page for my newest project. After almost a year of saving and donations, I have finally collected enough soda cans to begin construction. (However, I have nowhere near enough to complete the project and rinsed donations continue to be collected.)

Here is my project page.

http://lordrandallcastle.blogspot.com/2015/06/deciding-to-build-castle.html


P. S. Also check out my Amazon and Smashwords author pages. Maybe you will see a book you might like to read?

Monday, April 27, 2015

New Book Club Forms in Support of Traditional Values


This press release hit Google News! It was originally distributed by ReleaseWire. Note
 how prominently yours truly's name appears near the bottom. Isn't this awesome?!


Lansing, MI -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/27/2015 -- Mrs. Sorcha Liu, a resident of Essex County, U. K. has recently assumed the role of U.K. Marketing Director for a newly-formed group, created with the intention of raising public awareness about issues of traditional morality.

Mrs. Liu joins Mary Brown of Marinette, Wisconsin, USA and Debbie Claydon of Bedford, Texas, USA as joint directors of the book club, dubbed the Harbor Imagination Consortium. The three are now seeking international readers to join the club, which follows the works of award-winning American author Beth Durkee.

Headquartered in Menominee, Michigan, USA, the group welcomes volunteers interested in promoting traditional moral values and conservative politics through creative writing. Prospective members are invited to join the consortium via one of two Facebook groups, Harbor Imagination, USA and Harbour Imagination U. K.

About THE E-BOOKS
The club was formed around The Legend of Lord Randall Castle e-series, which debuted in October 2014. The books hit Amazon.com's bestseller list during its first week of availability. Since then, the e-series has been featured in several blogs and is slowly gaining popularity among readers with traditional values.

The novelettes are a mastery of fantasy fiction intended to comment on concerns surrounding the present-day Middle East, including issues such as teenage runaways, domestic violence, sexual discrimination, poverty and society's responsibility to make charitable contributions.

About AUTHOR BETH DURKEE
Beth Durkee is a graduate of Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA, a mother of two and a former U. S. Army wife. She subscribes to traditional Judeo-Christian values and conservative politics. Now writing within her long preferred genre of fantasy, she began her writing career with award-winning Christian Romance and Relationship Self-help books. Readers can find her titles listed on Amazon.com.

For information about the book club, contact:

Mary Brown
Harbor Imagination Consortium
P. O. Box 81
Menominee, MI 49858
USA
admin@bethdurkee.me
http://www.bethdurkee.me/Legend_Series.html

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/new-book-club-forms-in-support-of-traditional-values-594397.htm

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Pretty Good Day

I have been looking for a "real" job for quite a while now. That is to say one that, unlike writing, pays me instead of my spending time and money to do for free. Yes, I know I am demanding. (Sorry.) I have been working with a couple of agencies for about a year and finally found a job that I could do from my home office... or at least I thought I did, and I had great plans to hire a book publicist with my new income. How exciting!

I did a short, unpaid training and passed through to the next step, the paid training. (Yay!) I got my office all set up with a computer and a dedicated phone line, then I began my paid training. I worked two days of eight. Then my instructor took ill (or had personal problems or something). I wound up checking in for work every day for about 15 minutes to find out that class was not meeting for the day. That lasted about a week. Then a different trainer came in and finished my class' training. It was good and the class was a nice size, 11 customer service friendly people.

The last day of class was April 8, the day before my birthday and we finished in time for me to go out to lunch at my favorite lunch hangout.

Oh, wait. I forgot to mention that in the evening of April 7, I got a phone call on my cell from a strange number. I don't answer unfamiliar numbers on my cell, so I let it go to voice mail then I listened to the message. It was from some irate man who laid it out that he had been trying and trying to reach me and this was his LAST attempt to contact me for a peaceful resolution. So I had better call (8xx) xxx-xxxx in reference to case number xxx-xxxx-xx if I didn't want to go to court. Then a differnent voice said, "This message is for [Dippy Doo-Ha's sister's name]."

What?? Why am I getting irate calls for someone who does not talk to me and with whom I have not talked in years? Needless to say, two days before my birthday, I was not happy. I emailed the information to my personal super-villain. So that was a lovely birthday surprise (not). Later, I learned from my mom that the call was likely some kind of scam, as something similar had happened to her and the case / case number were bogus. (Sigh.) Now... back to my birthday story.

Because my job training was finished on the 8th, I had off on the 9th -- my birthday, and I was pretty happy about it. First, I took myself to the chiropractor, whom I had completely ignored during my job training. Then I went to lunch at my favorite lunch spot. My friend, Karen, was working so I asked to sit in her section. While there, I also talked to my beta reader and got some good feedback on the first three chapters of my newest e-book. But the restaurant was crazy busy, so I wound up being ignored. I hate being ignored. It is a real pet peeve of mine, so I left after waiting a good long time (I had not yet placed an order) and went to Applebee's. No fuss. I just left. (Note: Nobody ignored me today when I went for lunch. They did not seem to like when I silently disappeared. LOL)

Applebee's  was also kind of a bust, but I stuck it out and ate there because I did not feel like leaving. My server there was moderately inattentive and also made me wait a pretty long time for service. (Even getting a glass of water to drink when I sat down took just about forever.) It was not turning out to be a good birthday at all. So I went home. Bad idea. Not only did I have a distressed message from Karen waiting for me on Facebook ("Where did you go?") but, about half an hour after I got home, I received a phone call from my employment agency.

Are you saying, "uh oh?"

So... Out of 11 candidates, three did not get job offers. I was one of the three. Shaken, I messaged my family, Karen and my beta reader friend. Everyone was sad except my beta reader and me. We were sad for about half a minute. Then we realized that this means I now have time to devote to the sequel I am writing. So not getting the job is really sort of a a mixed blessing. Still, rejection is always a little hard to take and I now don't know how I will pay to publicize my books. I guess we will have to figure it out.

I spent a little time messaging people and called my mom to let her know about the job. I felt both crappy and happy at the same time for a while. Then I looked at my clock.and saw I had better leave so I could keep my promise to return to my lunch hangout for dinner. Believe it or not, the restaurant was less busy at dinner that day than at lunch. (Go figure.)

I am glad I went back because that is when my birthday did a little twist. Karen bought my dinner for me. She also told me that a mutual server friend is in need of a place to stay. My daughter told me about a week ago that she is not coming home for the summer, so I have a spare room in my house. Now I will have time to write instead of taking on a "real" job and I may be getting a roommate to help make ends meet. (Or maybe not. We will have to see.)

Last but not least, I was home after dinner and my son called from work. He had to hang up and call back a few times because he needed to concentrate on tasks at hand, but he still talked to me for a good long time to make sure I did not feel alone on my birthday.

All in all, I would say that it was a pretty good birthday.