Ever tried to publish a writers' group journal?

I've sent off the order, and soon a large parcel will arrive, loaded with copies of the journal from our local writers' group. It's a great journal. It's got a fantastic cover. And all proceeds go to the library that hosts us so... why not check it out on Amazon?

(For amazon uk, try http://www.amazon.co.uk/Writers-Mill-Journal-members-ebook/dp/B00OQAB87E/ )

I learned a lot while working on the journal. Mostly, I learned, I've still got tons to learn. I learned that people with better software than me can make fantastic covers, bypassing the cover creator I've used online. I learned that people with better training than me can design gorgeous interiors, knowing by instinct how to fix what "doesn't quite look right" to me, and avoiding all those beginner mistakes I made.

Do the top lines match - not always, but they should.
Are short paragraphs kept on single pages - not always, but I'm getting better at it.
Do page headings match the section headings - no, but next time I'll use sections properly to make it work.

and more

and more...

But I'm learning all the time. Though I say it myself, this year's journal looks gorgeous, and I'm proud to have been part of creating it. Congrats to all at the Writers' Mill!

Meanwhile, between uploading, downloading, fixing, reuploading, questioning and approving all those steps, I did manage to read, just once in a while. So here are some more book reviews and coffee ratings. (Yes, I did drink coffee too while working on the journal.)

November Echo, by James Houston Turner, offers a spy novel where the reader just might end up hoping the enemy will win. Russian protagonist Talanov makes a convincing Soviet James Bond, and the action's fast and furious with plot and counterplot, intrigue, mystery and more. Enjoy with a suitably intense fove-star cup of coffee and be prepared for surprises.

The Trojan project, by Eileen Thornton eschews high society with its tale of evil doings in Westminster and on the fields and farms of the North of England. Evil politicians are pitted against a few good people as a secret disaster sends a woman and her children fleeing South from the horror behind them. Drink some bold dark intense coffee with this one.

From spies to vampires... my next book is Immortal Embrace, by Charlotte Blackwell,a teen romance with vampires (no sparkle), witches and more, where the female vampire is falling fast for the high school hero, and her family aren't sure how to help. There'll be more in the series, and the story's not done, so be patient and enjoy some lively easy-drinking two-star coffee with the tale.

And finally, still in the world of romance, there's Outlaw in Love, by Tanya Hanson. You'll have to look on Nights and Weekends next week to see my review, but it's a pleasing tale, filled with the flavor of the West, and deep enough to encompass a maybe-nun and a once-was-outlaw, both in search of redemption... and coffee. Drink some elegant, complex four-star coffee with this lunch-break e-book.


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