Posted in Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving! (Please Take My Poll.)


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Happy Halloween

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Posted in Sunday Salon / Sunday Post Thoughts

Sunday Salon – Feedburner – Challenge Complete – Weekly Recap

The Sunday Salon.com

 The Sunday Salon used to be a meme but was getting so huge it became unmanageable, so it is now a Facebook group that has become an informal week in review
gathering place for bloggers.

It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.

So Happy Sunday Everyone!

Feedburner – My Thoughts
Most of us use Feedburner to get our posts out to our subscribers. Friday I saw my “Readers” had dropped to zero on the Subscriber Widget. I then found this article online Prepare for goodbye Feedburner in October 2012. Google is again getting rid of something important to bloggers. They removed Google Friend Connect several months ago. Before that it was the Amazon Gadget that made it easy to insert Amazon links into your blog posts. At the time we all thought it was to get all of us to start using Google AdSense and Google+. Many people did.

Feedburner is the means by which over a million RSS feeds on websites deliver content to people according to the Wikipedia entry on Feedburner (and that was the figure in 2007: it must have grown even a little since then). Those websites include big media properties, mainstream and social, alongside individual bloggers like me.

I have not joined Google+ yet and have stopped using AdSense because Google and I have a history. If you use Blogger to create your blog you have probably learned the only customer support they have is through their forums. You post questions there and hope another user can answer your question. Once in a blue moon an actual employee of Google may make a comment. Last year when they removed the Amazon Gadget people took to the forums. We called Amazon and talked to an actual person who told us Google shut it down not Amazon. Google used a lawsuit in California to hide behind their action. Apparently I angered the Google gods when I tried to get all the people leaving comments to post in one string thinking if we banded together we may get an honest answer.

The answer I received was powerful. I woke up on a Sunday morning just like this one to find my blog was missing. Address Not Found. Then I realized by Gmail was gone, Google Docs gone too, Google Calendar with my whole life scheduled missing. Even the Google Map that I was using to keep track of my Where Are You Reading Challenge was not there. All my contacts and all my appointments were history. I was in the middle of several giveaways. I had publisher and author deadlines to meet. While I wasn’t earning a salary blogging was still my job. In the blink of an eye it all vanished.

Panicked I found myself setting up another name so I could get to the forums to beg the powers that be to return my online life to me all to no avail. Thanks to some clearer thinking my some friends and family by Monday I was starting over with a WordPress format and just one week later a self-hosted WordPress format. The following Monday, eight days later I find all the Google stuff is turned back on. I receive an email with just one line – “matter has been resolved“. Like they just had expected me to sit on my hands for a week while they “punished” me for what? Posting my questions in a forum and actually expected an answer.

Yes, I was nervous using Feedburner because it was a Google product but at the time I knew of no other free option. Plus virtually everyone was using it. Feedburner was huge! I again started using Google Docs for giveaway entries again because it worked well and was free. I use my Gmail account sparingly and the Google map as well. But I think this action with Feedburner, that vast numbers of bloggers and businesses use, has sent a really clear message for everyone to free themselves from all Google products. With a flip of a switch, with no notification sent to actual users, they can just take everything away.

I did learn that if you set your Feed Stats Dashboard to September 17 you can download your subscribers email addresses that were active on that date. I have not found a way to identify those that subscribe through RSS or Google Reader. Some people have told me they are still receiving emails but they are now just in plain text. I have also heard rumors that Feedburner is just down for maintenance or known issues.

So what do we as bloggers do? Wait and hope it comes back? Or do we look for something to replace it?

Feedblitz is an option but would cost more than I pay to host my entire blog. Mail Chimp is another option that is free until you hit a certain number.  A friend told me about the Subscribe 2 plugin for WordPress which looks promising. There is a way to transfer email addresses you download from Feedburner. But I don’t want to have my subscribers receiving double emails for each post. I also believe posts are still being sent to the various RSS readers but that no new subscribers are being accepted. The last thing you want to do is anger you readers, but you don’t want to lose them either.

I am really interested in your insights, ideas and views about this hot issue!
Bloggers and Readers tell me what you think??

************************************************************

This past week I completed a major Challenge.
I am thrilled and surprised I finished it with time to spare.

A. An Appetite For Murder by Lucy Burdette
B. Breach of Trust by David Ellis 
C. Clobbered by Camembert by Avery Aames
D. Dodge The Bullet by Christy Hayes
E. Executive Sick Days by Maria Schneider

F.  File M for Murder by Miranda James
G. Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli
H.  The Hidden Man by David Ellis
I.  Iced by D.B. Morgan & Tim Myers
J. Julia’s Child by Sarah Pinneo
K. A Killer Read by Erika Chase
L. Last Chance Beauty Queen by Hope Ramsay
M. Murder Grins and Bears It by Deb Baker
N. The Naked Gardener by L.B. Gschwandtner
O. Oath Of Office by Michael Palmer
P. Plan Bee by Hannah Reed
Q. Quilt or Innocence by Elizabeth Craig
R. Redemption Day by Steve O’Brien
S. Shear Murder by Nancy J. Cohen
T. Town in a Wild Moose Chase by B.B. Haywood
U. The Union Quilters by Jennifer Chiavernini
V. Voices of the Dead by Peter Leonard
W. The Wedding Quilt by Jennifer Chiavernini
X. The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton
Y. Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim
Z. Zoned For Murder by Evelyn David

Week in Review

MondayIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

TuesdayI reviewed Bras, Boys, And Blunders in Bahrain (Young Adult Romantic Comedy Set in the Middle East) by Vidya Samson.

Wednesday – Joyce and Jim Lavene were my guests for Cozy Wednesday.Treacherous Toys (Renaissance Faire Mystery) was released September 4. I love this series!!!

Thursday – I reviewed Death in Four Courses: A Key West Food Critic Mystery by Lucy Burdette. Another great escape to Key West.

Friday – I reviewed my “X” book – The Xibalba Murders (Archaeological Mysteries, No. 1) by Lyn Hamilton. This was my first experience with this author. Sadly she passed away in 2009, but prior to that she wrote 11 books in this series. I hope to read them all.

Saturday – I started a new feature – Saturday Surfin’. I plan to highlight interesting posts I find in the blogosphere. It will also help me travel around and visit the blogs I am following. Please feel free to share interesting posts you have found in the comment section or use the the feature on your own blog. Let me know and I will promote your site too!

We are in Week 8 of the Iced Chiffon Giveaway. The book hits shelves October 2.

That’s all for this week. I know it’s a lot. 

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
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Posted in Thoughts

In Memoriam

The world has lost a wonderful woman.

Hubby’s grandma passed away last Sunday.

She will be dearly missed by many including me.

My blog page will be hers for the weekend as we get together with family and friends to celebrate her life.

Rest in peace Grandma Marie, we all know you are watching over us.

Marie Sylvia Heuer,  age 104, of Port Edwards, WI, formerly of Wild Rose, WI, passed quietly on September 2, 2012.

Marie was born June 14, 1908 in Wautoma Township, Wisconsin, to Henry Olaus Thompson and Maud C. (Selsing) Thompson, the fifth of seven children. On May 14, 1930, she married Edwin H. Heuer in Waushara County, Wisconsin. She worked as a one-room schoolhouse teacher before assisting Edwin in the family meat market business in Wild Rose, Wisconsin. She served as ward clerk at the Wild Rose Community Hospital from 1954-1979, and continued to work there part-time for several years after that. She was an active member of the Wild Rose United Methodist Church ladies circle.

Marie loved to cook, crochet, embroider, play organ, and work in her flower gardens. Her favorite expression was… “Always eat dessert first – just in case.”

She is survived by her three children – Edwin (Mary) Heuer, Marilyn (Thomas) Sanford, and Wendy Caswell – in addition to 11 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and 8 great-great grandchildren.

Marie was predeceased by her husband, Edwin Heuer in 1994, six siblings, her son-in-law James Caswell, and one great-grandchild.

Special heartfelt thanks to the staff of Edgewater Haven for their loving care of Marie during the last few years of her life.

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Posted in Challenges Literary Escapes Thoughts

New Pages Added!!! Road Trip!!

This is a project I have been working on a long time and it will forever be a work in progress.

When you travel around the blogsphere you will find many book blog challenges that are based on where the story takes place.

Sheila at Book Journey hosts Where Are You Reading?

Jenn of Jenn’s Bookshelves hosts a Literary Road Trip. The group is on a break right now but Jenn promises a new rejuvenated Literary Road Trip will be starting soon.

I am sure there are many others.

So I have created set of pages called Books By State.

There are lists on the internet similar but I noticed that many of them didn’t include the cozy mysteries that I love or they just included the first book in the series.

There is a home page and a page for each State.

The home page has links to each of the state pages.
The State pages will also drop down beneath the
Books by State tab in the menu at the top of this blog.

The State pages are broken down by shelves with series books or authors each having their own shelves. Stand alone books can be found on a general shelf.

My lists on the State pages are created from books I have personally read.
I will continue to add books as I read.

I have included a Goodreads Shelf for every state too.
These shelves are made on recommendations from Goodreads members.

As people suggest books for me to add I will be adding a
 Friends Shelf on each page too!

I also plan to add a page for Books Around The World for books set outside the U.S.A. and pages for U.S. territories as well.

I encourage everyone, readers and authors to share your ideas for more books for me to add so these lists can grow and help you all take a “literary road trip”.


View 2012 Where Are You Reading Challenge in a larger map

I haven’t yet read my way around the U.S.A. yet in a year but I hope to this year.  I have read books from 41 states including the District of Columbia so far and traveled by book to 14 stops outside the U.S. It takes “Escaping Into A Good Book” to a whole new level.

Remember the lists are a work in process. I have tried to keep the series books in order but please double check before you make a purchase or head out to the library.  Some books may be out of print or may have been reborn as an e-book.

Most new challenges will start in January.
Putting up the pages now gives you time to plan so you can hit the ground running in 2013.

I hope you enjoy these brand new pages!!

As always your thoughts, ideas and comments are always appreciated!

Happy Reading!!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

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Posted in New Release Tuesday Thoughts

New Release Tuesday – August 2012

These wonderful books are available today
wherever fine books are sold.

Click on the book covers to order from Amazon.com
and have them delivered right to you door.

Allergic to Death (A Gourmet De-Lite Mystery)

Peg Cochran will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday tomorrow!

Bruja Brouhaha (A Mind for Murder Mystery)

Rochelle Will Be Here For Cozy Wednesday on August 15.

A Witch Before Dying: A Wishcraft Mystery

Heather will be dropping by for Cozy Wednesday on August 22.

Death of a Schoolgirl (The Jane Eyre Chronicles)

Joanna will be my guest For Cozy Wednesday on August 29.

I hope to review these too!

Other Books Being Released Today


Release Date: August 8, 2012

Deadly Politics (A Molly Malone Mystery)

Maggie Sefton will be my Special Guest on Thursday, August 9.
This awesome story is not a cozy mystery!

Also Coming Out This Month

I am an Amazon Associate so purchases made at Amazon.com originating from my blog earn me a small commission which I use for giveaway prizes.

HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
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Posted in Thoughts

I Am Organizing A Virtual Book Tour!!!

Things have been crazy around here of late. I have always been involved in at least 2-3 Virtual Tours a month. It’s a wonderful way to find new authors and have some promotion for your blog.

You may have noticed the new button in the sidebar for Great Escape Book Tours.

 

I love featuring Wisconsin Authors here on my blog and I have found a wonderful new Wisconsin author.  Kim Tews has written Tears Water the Seeds of Hope.

She has given me a great opportunity. She has asked me to set up a Virtual Blog Book Tour for this inspiring true story of a Midwest husband and wife that become disenchanted with the relentless pursuit of the American Dream and embark on a journey that spans six countries and redefines their lives and values. The story begins in a small town in Wisconsin and weaves its way through South and Central America as the couple gathers an army of supporters and establishes an organization to save the lives of children in the end stages of starvation in eastern Guatemala.

I loved this book. I laughed, I cried and I was inspired!!

There are still a few spots open so be sure to contact me at lori(at)escapewithdollycas(dot)com to sign up!
I hope to do more tours for any genre!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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Posted in Thoughts

Sparkle by Denene Miller Release Date: August 7

Sparkle: A Novel
This edition: Movie Tie-In Edition Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Paperback and E-book Available
THEY HAD A DREAM. SHE HAD IT ALL.

Detroit, 1968. The Motown sound is sweeping the nation. Girl groups are hotter than ever. Over their mother’s objections, three beautiful sisters—Delores, Sister and Sparkle—are taking the local music scene by storm. But their dreams are bigger than Detroit. Their manager, Stix, is just as ambitious and will do whatever it takes to make it to the big time, even if it means using the girls—and his love for Sparkle—as the foundation of a new musical empire.

Behind the music and lights, the recording industry is a ruthless and unforgiving place, just as Mama had warned her girls. Sister, with her good looks and voice, is the natural headliner of the trio, yet her complicated personal life threatens to overshadow her talent; Delores has her sights set on a different kind of life outside the spotlight; and young Sparkle must push past her deepest fears if she is to fulfill her destiny—does she really have what it takes to go all the way?

Riveting and soul-stirring, this timeless tale reminds us of the unbreakable bonds between family, the high price of fame and what can happen when we dare to show the world how brightly we can sparkle.

Read the book before you see the movie!

You can preorder it today at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com or Walmart Online
or directly from Simon & Schuster

The book will be available August 7 wherever fine books are sold!!

I am getting my very own copy and will be reviewing soon!!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
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Posted in Thoughts

Happy Independence Day!!

I am off spending time with the family today!

I hope you have a wonderful day!

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Posted in Thoughts

Layout Changes

You may be noticing things look a little different around here. My old blog theme was no longer supported by technical support and was not being updating to reflect the changes that were being made on WordPress. With a lot of help from an amazing person I was able to keep the relaxing feel of my blog with just some minor changes.

The biggest change I notice is that the Comment or Response tab is now in the upper right hand corner of each post instead of at the bottom.

As always I appreciate you comments or questions!

~Lori

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