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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Discover Books a New Way with BookHylla

Ray Ferch, author of But What If Harry? and Blueburrie, is creating a new book search system. BookHylla allows authors to create unique keyword combinations for searches, called “Ferch Phrases.”

I added some of my books and created some Ferch Phrases. They didn’t take long to start appearing in Google search results.

On Bookhylla’s “About this” page, Ray explains, “What makes Bookhylla so powerful is that we can really create unique Ferch Phrases that define our book and make it really easy for readers to find our book. We can create phrases that tie movies to our book, for example.”

BookHylla featured books.

BookHylla featured authors.

My BookHylla page.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Discussion Questions for Reading Groups/Book Clubs

Was your home town anything like Acorn? If so, how?

How would setting The Acorn Stories some place other than West Texas change it? What about setting it in the 2020s, instead of the late twentieth century?

How would changing the nonlinear structure of stories like “Knock” and “Mae” affect the stories?

Which characters did you like most in The Acorn Stories? Why? Did any of them remind you of yourself or anyone you know? Are the characters you enjoyed most necessarily ones that you would want to meet in real life?

The stories “Echoes” and “Come With Me” both take their names from paintings, while “Survival” takes its name from a student essay. How do the themes and imagery from those internal, creative works affect the overall stories? Is creativity a theme in any of the other stories?

Why do some of the characters in The Acorn Stories seem to care so much about names, and variances of names?

Does The Acorn Stories glamorize or criticize small-town life?

The Acorn Stories is a story collection, but does it resemble a novel?

Many characters reoccur in this collection. Are there any who seem important to the overall book, rather than just to one or two particular stories?

Texas contains many oddly named towns. Some of those names appear in The Acorn Stories and its spin-off, The Acorn Gathering. Did you catch any?

How do acorns work as a metaphor in The Acorn Stories? Are there other metaphors in the book?

Does The Acorn Stories reflect the diversity of Texans? Americans?

The Acorn Stories is mostly set during the 1990s. If it became a movie, which 1990s songs would work best for the soundtrack?

If you’ve seen the Del Shores play or movie Sordid Lives, how would you relate it to The Acorn Stories?

Which books, plays, or movies would you suggest for people who like The Acorn Stories?

Discuss The Acorn Stories at GoodReads and BookBub.

Read the reviews at Kirkus Reviews, Amazon.Com, bn.com, and Goodreads.

Excerpts from The Acorn Stories

The Individual Stories

Historical Acorn, Texas

The Acorn Gathering, a Spin-off from The Acorn Stories

Sunday, March 05, 2023

One of the Most-Read Interviews in Tweetables Book Blog’s First Year

Please visit the award-winning book blog Tweetables. My author interview there ranked as one of the top-five most viewed of the blog’s first year. That top five also includes Jane’s discussions with authors Lisa Thomas, Liz Treacher, Shane Scott, and Martin Featherston.

“I swung from sad to happy, angry to laughing out loud,” Jane wrote in a review of my short story collection The Acorn Stories at Tweetables. The review appears just below the interview.

Please follow jane @ tweetables on Twitter.

Keywords: book blog, bookblogger, reviewed, reviewers, review, short stories, writer resources, awards.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Happy Anniversary

Happy 25th anniversary to my Texas fiction collection, The Acorn Stories, and 100th anniversary to my alma mater, Texas Tech University.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Queer Indie 2023 Nomination

What an honor to receive a nomination for the 2023 Queer Indie Awards! That makes two years in a row.

🏳️‍🌈 VOTE NOW in the Queer Indie Awards! This nomination involves the overall works of an author, instead of just one particular book.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Tweetables: The Acorn Stories Review and Interview

The book blog Tweetables now features a book review and author interview about my book The Acorn Stories. That collection of short stories celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2023.

“I swung from sad to happy, angry to laughing out loud” –from the review at Tweetables.

Jane writes the Tweetables blog, Twitter account, and Facebook page. The Tweetables “About” page includes the following background.

“The #writing community on twitter has opened my eyes to new writers too. There are so many talented people, but how do these wonderful authors get their message out? I find myself wanting to help and I'm hoping to find other people like me, who want to learn about new titles whilst meeting the brilliant authors who penned them.”

Please visit the Tweetables blog to read Jane’s review and interview about The Acorn Stories. Please also read some of the other entries there and visit again to read more.

Friday, January 13, 2023

“Morgana Le Fay” Cat Video

“Morgana Le Fay”: A widow finds her new romance disrupted by her Siamese cat's strange behavior. #TheAcornStories #Humor #catsoftiktok #LOL #BookTok

@duanesimolke “Morgana Le Fay”: A widow finds her new romance disrupted by her Siamese cat's strange behavior. #TheAcornStories #Humor #catsoftiktok #LOL #BookTok ♬ original sound - BookTok and SciFi Geek 🌈

Monday, January 09, 2023

Small-Town Problems

@duanesimolke The Acorn Stories. #smalltown #humor. Big-time drama. #booktok #bookclub #shortstories #quickreads #quickread #smalltownproblems #Texas #texastowns @duanesimolke ♬ Made You Look - Meghan Trainor

The Acorn Stories. #smalltown #humor . Big-time drama. #booktok #bookclub #shortstories #quickreads #quickread #smalltownproblems #Texas #texastowns @duanesimolke Music: Made You Look - Meghan Trainor.

Flip, Turn, 2nd BookTok Video

@duanesimolke Flip, Turn, one of The Acorn Stories. #Swimming #SwimmingPool #BookTok #BookToker #Humor #humortiktok #SmallTown #SmallTownProblems #SmallTownLife ♬ original sound - BookTok and SciFi Geek 🌈

Flip, Turn, one of The Acorn Stories. #Swimming #SwimmingPool #BookTok #BookToker #Humor #humortiktok #SmallTown #SmallTownProblems #SmallTownLife

Spotlight on Scintilla.info: “A small spark igniting imaginations.”

Scintilla.info is a book and lifestyle blog that celebrates and fosters a love of reading by focusing on these four categories:

• Books for Growing & Learning — nonfiction & reference

• Books for Nurturing & Sharing — children’s literature & young adult

• Books for Enjoying & Experiencing — fiction & literature

• Resources for Inspiration & Encouragement — celebrations, words, quotes, & resources

Recent posts include book reviews of works by J.M. Briscoe, O.C. Heaton, Damyanti Biswas, and Karl Drinkwater. Visit the site often for other reviews, features, and blog tours. You can also follow via Twitter: scintilla.info or the blog roll off to the right on this blog.