Cat’s Special Super Bowl Guest Author, Meet Randy Grimes & His New Book Titled “Off Center: A Memoir of Addiction, Recovery, & Redemption in Professional Football,” And Why Everyone Needs To Read This Book.



Usually, I don’t start my guest spotlights of an author by sharing my book review and other reviews already on Amazon first.

This is not an ordinary special guest spotlight with Randy being a first-time best-selling Amazon Author; I’m kind of excited to get to the good stuff first. Please, meet Randy Grimes, an awesome friend, and I’ll share all about him and his amazing wife with you after the reviews. Since he and his wife are attending their 13th Super Bowl in Calf., I thought I would have him as my Special Guest Author to share his fantastic new book!

Randy Grimes is a former professional football player who played his whole NFL career for the Tampa Bay Bucs. He was drafted right out of college, playing for Baylor University. Just a little boy from Tyler, Texas, who had big dreams of just playing the game and sport of football. But, he never knew addiction was lying in wait years later.

That is a smidge of what you learn while reading his new memoir titled “Off Center: A Memoir of Addiction, Recovery, and Redemption in Professional Football.” I can tell you it has been a long journey for Randy to get this exceptional book written and to the finish line to release.

And, “how sweet it is” that it was released right before the Super Bowl ~ 2022!

Of course, Randy and Lydia have been busy in California with all the Super Bowl festivities and soaking in the sun while Randy does his NFL duties (lol), like Radio Row at the Super Bowl this past week. Not only to promote and share his new memoir but share a message of HOPE. Also, sharing what he and Lydia and other former pro athletes do through their organization of https://proathletesinrecovery.org/our-story/ that I highly suggest everyone should take a visit!

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Image Courtesy of Randy Grimes
Radio Row.

Mr. and Mrs. Grimes ~ NFL Legends
Evening




CAT’S BOOK REVIEW FOR:

Off Center: A Memoir of Addiction, Recovery, and Redemption in Professional Football

by Randy Grimes and (Forward) by Mike Ditka | Feb 4, 2022

CAT’S REVIEW:

I am an Avid Cat Reader!

5.0 out of 5 stars “I Need More Than Five Stars to Rate!

Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2022

Off-Center by Author Randy Grimes is a former NFL Pro who played with the Tampa Bay Bucs. Unfortunately, his memoir is not your average read. Randy’s story, testimony, and intervention of another are fine examples of how anyone can be “touched” by addiction, be it a regular person or even as a sports pro.

With big dreams of playing football, a little boy from Tyler, Texas, had no idea that addiction had been lying in wait for years. That is the cunningness of any addiction. Randy’s memoir also shows how this can happen without going rogue with ego or status or being a “Party Guy.” If there is anything he knows best, Texas is known for, “The Love For Family, Faith, Church on Sunday, and FOOTBALL!

While he shares his life, past pro career, while sharing an intervention and part of the advocacy work is some of what you find between the pages of this exceptional book. With “No Shame,” the author shares the real and raw of his downfall, how he crawled on his hands and knees into a treatment center, and another example of how many athletes end up having addiction problems later in their career afterward.

It seems that when you play pro sports and have the best doctors and sports medicine professionals helping you stay in the game, and it’s over? All the author wanted to do was get rid of the pain from all the injuries he had. So sad he had no guidance after he left pro football.

Then the true miracle of faith begins to work within his life after losing just about everything he worked so hard for and to provide for his family, as he went from being lost, addicted, and spiritually broken to a man who stands tall today within redemption! And that is only the tip of the iceberg you’ll read within this fantastic memoir.

I have read many memoirs from other sports pros, and this one is not your standard braggy sports stats and facts. Everyone should read this book and learn how anyone can change and turn their lives around after addiction. Randy and Lydia help many athletes gain life from addiction while healing the whole family through several foundations.

I highly suggest parents read this memoir/book, and I enjoy reading a great book that can teach you something while cheering (for Randy) simultaneously! It’s what makes this book a must-read.

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Now, this Cat has been in the business of book promoting and marketing for an extended time. That means I’ve read many memoirs from everyday folks to many high-profile people from stars, sports pros, and others. I can honestly tell you there is a little something within the pages of this book for anyone who enjoys reading.

So with that said, here is more about Randy’s book and a few more reviews for “Off Center” that share “The Why” you need to read this fantastic memoir. Since the book was released on Amazon Books and Amazon Kindle a few days ago, Randy’s biography has HIT #1 in over 6 different categories.
Now that is priceless and a darn good read!

May be an image of 2 people and people standing
Former Teammates Odie Harris
And Randy Grimes – Go Bucs!



ABOUT THE NEW MEMOIR of RANDY GRIMES

May be an image of 2 people and text that says 'FOREWORD MIKE DITKA DITKA RANDY GRIMES A Memoir Memoir ofAddiction, Recovery, and Redemption in Professional Football OFF. CENTER'

Randy Grimes quickly learned one important truth as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ top draft pick: play through pain or get cut.

This is just part of being a pro athlete, he told himself.

Growing up in Tyler, Texas, Grimes’s life was very much on center. A childhood spent in church on Sundays and on the gridiron all week turned into a football scholarship to Baylor, marriage to his college sweetheart, and a coveted NFL roster spot.

When the Bucs’ starting center began piling up brutal hits, he determined to do anything to stay in the game. If the pills prescribed by the team doctors could help, Grimes would take them.

“All in a day’s work,” he told himself.

Even before Grimes left the NFL, his life began slipping off center. Eventually, he lost almost everything he owned, the respect of his children, and very nearly his life, before tumbling out of the car and crawling on hands and knees into a treatment center—literally—into a life-changing miracle.

Off Center is Randy Grimes’s riveting story of having it all, playing the sport he loved, losing almost everything, and ultimately finding redemption and hope. Witness the addiction trap that binds millions and claims thousands of lives each year—and the steps Grimes took to reclaim his life and guide others.

Today Grimes and his wife, Lydia, stage drug and alcohol interventions for professional athletes, celebrities, business leaders, and everyday Americans to find recovery from addiction.

Recovery has become his playbook. His treatment center colleagues are his team. And those with addiction are his community.

Above all, Randy & Lydia Grimes want people to know: “Even when the world seems to be yours, there is room to fall. And even when that world seems to slip away, there is hope.


A Few More Book Reviews For “Off Center.”

Off Center Book Image

“I saw something very special in Randy Grimes while recruiting him from high school to Baylor University. I saw a leader, a warrior, someone who would battle through any obstacle to reach his goals. The pages of this book just reaffirm what I already knew. Nothing, not even addiction, could ever keep Randy Grimes down. A great comeback story!”
—Grant Teaff; head coach, Baylor University 1972-1992; executive director, American Football Coaches Association; College Football Hall of Fame

Off Center Book Image

“I’ve seen athletes over the years who wanted to be great but were unwilling to do the necessary hard work. Recovery is similar. Some want to be sober—but are unwilling to do what it takes. Not only did Randy do the work, but his story is the perfect example of the fruits of recovery. This book is one of those fruits!”
—”Sudden” Sam McDowell; MLB pitcher, Cleveland Indians 1961-1975; six times MLB All-Star; author, The Saga of Sudden Sam

Off Center Book Image

“I played during the same time as Randy and shared his conference, and in fact faced his team twice a year. I know firsthand the pressures he faced to stay on the field. I also know the play-at-all-costs mentality that existed then. Randy accurately describes the dark side of the NFL, and what many were and still are willing to do to be the best. Great job, my NFL brother!”
—Eric Hipple; NFL QB, Detroit Lions 1980-1989; mental health advocate; author, Real Men Do Cry


No photo description available.
Randy and I April 2019 An Event
For Big Jim At AZ State Capital.


I sure hope all my reader friends and visitors have enjoyed reading this Special Super Bowl Guest Author Spotlight all about my friend and call Randy a fellow author too! 

The image above is the most memorable day I hold dear as my hubby “Big Tom,” and I finally met Randy and Lydia’s beautiful wife. 

They were gracious to come and speak for an event I pulled together for a friend at the Arizona State Capital to raise awareness of all addictions to share our recoveries, and it was the BEST DAY EVER! (Lol). 

Randy and I have supported one another’s recovery for almost four years. Randy and Lydia have been amazing friends and kind mentors to Tom and me. We have advocated and have networked together several times. So when I call him while I am helping someone in need of recovery or intervention advice, he is always the first to answer my call…

So we are blessed to call them both our friends.
~Cat










Hey Parents! Gather The Kids Around To Meet Stevie Tenderheart & His Books. While Parents Can Read About An American Best-Selling Children’s Author, Steve William Laible. . .


Well, Easter is just around the corner kids, moms, dads, and grandparents!

And it looks like the Easter Bunny is going to have a pretty busy time this year and may need some help.

I know one person who can actually help the bunny with lots of fun books to read, color books, bedtime story books, game book, kids fiction reads, and reads for all ages, and much more, Yup!

So, meet Cats amazing friend, Stevie Tenderheart. He is widely known throughout the Pacific Northwest as a former comic strip, in books with lots of vibrant cool colors, Stevie dolls, and more. I do believe Stevie knows the Easter Bunny pretty well. But parents may want to know more about just who is behind these amazing literary products for their children.

So, parents, let me introduce you to Steve William Laible. Steve is a best-selling American Children’s Author and a proud United States Air Force veteran who served his county fighting for our freedoms. Now retired after 22-years of service. He has three beautiful grown children of his own, sure enjoys writing children’s fiction books.

I caught up Steve and (Stevie) over on my friend, Vinny O’Hare’s book site called Awesome Gang. https://awesomegang.com/steve-william-laible/… He was happy that Cat is sharing the Author Interview here in The Reading Den with his permission, of course! I hope you enjoy learning all about this amazing Author, Steve Laible and his side-kick Stevie Tenderheart!

As the author always says,

“I shall be in transports of delight when parents, and especially children, discover Stevie Tenderheart Books.” ~Steve William Laible




Interview With Author Steve William Laible


Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.

I am a retired USAF Mustang–Captain. 22 years distinguished career, 14 enlisted, 8 as officer, with special joint service tours of duty at Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon; Commander-in-Chief, Pacific (CINCPAC) Hawaii; USAF Honor Guard, Wash DC under Reagan Administration; White House Fellowship nominee; Superintendent of Publishing, HQ 15AF; Commander, Civil Engineering SQ & Commander, Operations Support SQ, supporting two F-16 fighter squadrons in Korea. Received Bronze Star device for Desert Shield/Storm; Lauded as USAF Outstanding Administrator of the Year…

Born in Ashland, Oregon. Retired from USAF on New Years Eve 1993 (age 40) returning to Grants Pass, Oregon to raise my then, three young sons as a single dad in the hometown atmosphere I enjoyed growing up among some 250 remaining relatives. I created a comic strip in 2005 based on a retelling of my youth. Published for five years in the Daily Courier then picked up in the Sneak Preview (readership 200k) est. Ended the Stevie Tenderheart strip to write more as those panels were so confining.

I published my first Stevie Tenderheart children’s book, My Favorite Place to Be…(A Bedtime Story). It comes with a companion coloring book. Then, Stevie Tenderheart Wait a Minute! (A Bedtime Story) also with a companion coloring book. To date 600+ Goodreads ratings/reviews. Worst: “Too many words.” Best: “Best children’s author to come along since Dr. Seuss.” [As if, but still. Pretty cool.]

After a few more Stevie Tenderheart illustrated picture books (Ages 4-8):
Tick Tock (Midnight Confusion); Seven Rules (On Becoming a Fantastic Kid) along with Seven Rules (On Raising a Fantastic Kid); I made the transition to Stevie Tenderheart novellas: Billy Jack (The Great Escape) & A Silent Kiss Goodnight (Stevie and the Tooth Fairy).

Also with a family fun night returns board game book about a board game I created as a single dad. It’s called, Backfire by Kodel.







I wrote Billy Jack (The Great Escape) above for 10-year-old men & the kid still inside you. (Giggles Assured)

It will get boys reading again for pure entertainment. It was written in a storyteller’s voice rather than quoted he said, she said conversations making it much easier to read & follow along with in the lessons being shared without their knowing. There are 1-2 page stories within stories presented with loads of humor & hijinks. The lessons are based on true stories & not preachy. They’ll learn better that way. Lessons about responsibilities, personal & financial; competition & sportsmanship; first crushes; anti-bullying; independence; and consequences.

Billy Jack is a really fun read/ride. ( Hashtag #CowboyPromise!)

It makes for a wonderful bedtime story bonding experience reading 5-10 pages each night until children can read it on their own.

Seventeen books to date. Many Stevie books are available in print, Kindle & audiobooks.



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What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Stevie Tenderheart A Silent Kiss Goodnight (Stevie and the Tooth fairy) a novella meant to excite children sparking their imaginations and put to rest any fears they might have about losing their first tooth. It’s based on a true story mixed in with fairytale musings. Kids will never really be sure when their legs are being pulled. It’s a splendid bedtime story. It is in print, Kindle & audiobooks.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

I become the child! My discipline comes from writing my comic strip. I audition every word. I write with a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor. It has to be funny the first time and the umpteenth time. At 2am and again at 10am or 4pm. I basically sit & my laptop in the quiet of the evening not looking up again for 15 hours with only a thought. Then, somehow, as it’s still not clear to me, I channel my inner-child. My audience is ever-present in my mind.

What authors, or books have influenced you?

Hemingway for the vibrant detail. Twain for the adventure & exploration of imagination.


What are you working on now?

Stevie Tenderheart A Second Kiss Goodnight (A Bedtime Story) likely my final illustrated children’s book.

My goal as an American children’s author is two-fold.

1. Stevie books help parents put their children to bed on time, every time. Just be mindful when you say, “It’s Stevie time.” As they will likely hear, “It’s TV time.”

2. Stevie books help children feel safe, loved, silly & cozy at bedtime.

~Stevie Tenderheart Books





Stevie Tenderheart Book



What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?

I have 4M+ engagements (likes, loves, shares, comments) using Facebook’s boosted posts over the past five years.

I also use Cost per Click (CPC) “click” advertising (bids) on Amazon (Sponsored Branding & Lock Screen) ads Kindle & Fire tablet) devices which also populate Amazon’s eight global platforms (US, UK, CANADA, SPAIN, GERMANY, ITALY, FRANCE, & AUSTRALIA) in addiction to Google ad words.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Write for the joy of it. The pure love of creating & expression. Let your stories become your legacy…

What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Listen.

What are you reading now?

Where the Crawdads Sing…Diary of a Wimpy Kid series…



What’s next for you as a writer?

To expand my transition from illustrated picture books writing more true life misadventures (novellas of about 120 pages) for children (Ages 10+).



If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?

A rhyming dictionary. Stevie Tenderheart Billy Jack (The Great Escape) because I am so proud of it & enjoy reading it often as my childhood lives on those pages; any of number of books on Walt Disney (as I met him once when I was five or six). He knelt down & patted my head whispering magic in my ear. I felt anointed all the while Alice in Wonderland (the real one) kissed me on the cheek. The Eloquent Universe (String Theory).

Author Websites and Profiles
Steve William Laible Website
Steve William Laible Amazon Profile


Connect With Steve on Social Media

Twitter – https://twitter.com/SteveLaible
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/STenderheart/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/stenderheart/
GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5873576.Steve_William_Laible


This is for the parents to let you know Steve’s book are all available on Amazon in E-book and Paperback formats. He does have a few as audiobooks too! Since Easter is coming? Cat highly recommends purchasing Stevie Books in place of all that candy for all the kid’s and they look great in Easter Baskets! Besides, a few Stevie Tenderheart books are much less expensive than visits to the DENTIST… 🙀 🎁📚📚🐰🐰🐰



HAVE A HAPPY EASTER From CAT and STEVIE TENDERHEART!


Cat Happy Easter Picture Pictures, Photos, and Images for Facebook, Tumblr,  Pinterest, and Twitter

More Amazing Amazon Book Reviews for Both Reads By Author, Joe Siccardi …

Hello and Welcome Avid Readers, Friends, and Visitors,

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Meet a fantastic storyteller, writer, and an amazing Author, Joe Siccardi …

Joe has been writing essay-style spiritual-reflection books for a while now. His first debut book titled “Heaven Shining Through” has been garnishing amazing book reviews recently, as we know as authors, it takes a while for the “book buzz” to get around to readers when we release our “works” to the world.

Joe has released his second new book that is also gaining exceptional Amazon and Goodreads reviews as well and has only been out for a short time.

This tells me two things, the first is my working for and with him in marketing his books is working! Lol. And second, avid readers are really enjoying his books! So here is a little more about him and about his amazing books everyone will ENJOY …

~Cat

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Best-selling writer and author, Joe Siccardi is a prolific storyteller of inspirational wisdom filled books about life. His first offering and debut release came in March 2018 titled “Heaven Shining Through” claiming rave reviews by book reviewers and book bloggers alike.

The author released his second book in November 2018 tilted “Wisdom From A Father: One dad’s thoughts about life.” A beautiful collection of essays about love, life, marriage and raising his children. With a dash of wit and fatherly life lessons. Both books are available on Amazon Books, Amazon Kindle, and many fine online bookstores.

He is a graduate of Dominican College of Blauvelt (NY) and holds a BA degree in Liberal Arts. Joe began his career with Paterson (NJ) News and continued for the next 52 years in a variety of positions as editorial writer, editor, and publisher. He now writes and publishes his works as a new Indie Author. He has an official website he called wisdomfromafather.com and shares all about life and fatherhood.

The storyteller says it well. Joe states, “I’m the ordinary Joe walking along this journey called life and sharing it with you.” And he has the life experience to back this statement as a proud father of five children, 18 grandchildren, and three great-granddaughters.

He has gathered all his life and work experiences from living in many places on East Coast and Midwest like Paterson, Totowa, Newton and Ogdensburg, NJ; Belvidere, IL; Toledo, OH; Washington, DC; Laurel, MD; and Seneca Falls and Willard (Romulus), NY.

When not writing Joe enjoys travel, cooking, and spending time with all his grown children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He also enjoys pleasure reading some of his favorite authors and writers like James Patterson, Tom Clancy, and his literary wish is a meeting with icon author Mr. Stephen King … Joe Siccardi currently resides in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine.

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Wisdom From A Father: One dad's thoughts on life      Heaven Shining Through

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Review and AboutWisdom From a Father’  New Release:

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

“I’m just that ordinary Joe walking on the path of life …and sharing it with you. There are joys.”

There are tribulations. There are reflections. There is everyday life. In each essay, I try to convey a recognition of a greater Power who colors my perspective. My comments are always filtered through the lens of my Judeo-Christian values and largely based on 40 years of marriage, raising five children, and life …

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Amazon Review – 5 Stars!


Cat Lyon
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming, Wisdom, and Funny Stories …

December 13, 2018 – Format: Paperback

I was honored and privy to receiving an early copy of this “Gem” before it released by the author …

What a beautiful treasure trove of wisdom filled heartwarming nuggets in this book! “Wisdom From A Father offers a little bit of everything about life from the heart of a faithful father and now a grandfather, as told by an uplifting storyteller and the Author, Joe Siccardi.

His writing style is flawless as he shares about marriage, raising his children, and now his grandchildren, with many life and spiritual lessons. Tales set and laid out in little story essays with both purpose and reason through aspects of life humor, sadness, loss, meaningful, spiritual and touching.

Not to spoil any of what is offered to the reader, some of my favorite essays are ‘MAD MAX,’ ‘FATHER SAYS which opens the book, and ‘Miracle.’ I really enjoyed them all. Many have faith lessons as well, but not to an extreme. This book will be appreciated and enjoyed by all!

Moreover, I think especially for those men who are now new dads who will get a glimpse of what “Fatherhood” is going to be all about and how life events and “oh, just the little things” about raising your children at times can be both challenging and humorous too.

The most “touching” you will read is the beautiful memories of Karen … I won’t say much more about this but to say … Do yourself a favor readers; DO NOT hesitate to read this one. I highly suggest this one to everyone …

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Reviews and About ‘Heaven Shining Through’ New Release:


“Samantha is dreading her return home. Throughout her life, she had a rocky relationship with her mother – and now her mother is all she has left.”

Through a nostalgic look back, Samantha recognizes the presence of God in an ordinary life. She learns more about herself as a wife and mother who has had her share of sorrow and blessings.

As her faith increases, she is able to see her mother through new eyes, leading to reconciliation …and is reminded of that every time she sees Heaven Shining Through.

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Amazon Rave Reviews:

January 12, 2019
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Though Heaven Shining Through is a shorter read, it is packed full of wisdom about both life and love.

Highlights:

The Narration
Though the majority of the book is told in a flashback of Samantha’s life up until mid-adulthood, the story never hits a boring spot. I devoured this book in one sitting. It is extremely rare for me to enjoy a book that relies on telling more than showing through actions or dialogue, but the author has a true gift for storytelling. He completely captured his characters’ unique traits and weaved a tale I won’t soon forget.

The Romance
The romance involves an unmarried couple who end up giving in to lust after remaining pure for a year of dating. The couple soon realizes that they should get married instead of continuing on in lust, so they begin their lives together in a way that honors God. The main character, Samantha, and her husband, Chad, have great chemistry and were adorable to read about. My favorite aspect about the romance was that it is portrayed realistically, as many Christian novels sugarcoat the fact that even Christians slip up and give in to sexual temptation before marriage. The novel emphasizes that we can find redemption in Christ no matter what our pasts hold, and that’s a message we need more of in Christian literature instead of judging couples for the slightest things or touches.

Relationship Between Samantha and Her Mom
The author perfectly portrays a criticizing mother and how damaging that can be on a child. Samantha and her mother have a strained relationship from the beginning, and it shapes Samantha’s decisions growing up. This is a fantastic reminder to Christian parents not to be so caught up on what a child is doing wrong that they forget to see what the child is doing right.

Overall, I applaud the author for tackling these subjects. Again, we definitely need bolder Christian authors in the industry. Highly Suggest this one! 

~Anonymously Allyson

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December 28, 2018
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Samantha and her mother do not have the best of relationships. This is a fast-paced story that gives the reader a sudden and deep romance, a deep loss of a husband, the journey of grief for Samantha and her kids, and then later, a last-minute relationship with her mother.

I loved this story. The romance of Chad and Samantha was beautiful. The loss she faces tore my heart out. The ending and the relationship she builds with her mother bringING this book a tender ending. I will be honest and say I was bawling for about half of this book. It is so well written and so touching I couldn’t help but shed the tears. The relationship between Samantha and her mom hits home with me deeply. I can relate greatly to her and her feelings as a young girl and later on in life as a mother.

Overall, this book was short and very heart-wrenching. People need to read this but don’t forget the tissues.    ~Boundless Book Reviews Stormi


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One More Amazing Review For”Heaven:”

4 out 5-stars: Jan. 10th, 2019 –
By: Nay Denise reviewed Heaven Shining Through

Emotional and Beautiful
This was a great read.

I enjoyed Samantha and seeing her life. She dealt with hardships at home, fell in love with a guy unexpectedly and was blessed with 2 beautiful kids. Samantha is a strong woman who pushed through all the loses. She may not have focused on God, but you could see Him working in her life and focusing on her. Chad was an awesome guy from start to finish to Samantha. He always did right and apologized even when he did nothing wrong. Samantha’s father was a loving man. Samantha’s mother was a hard woman.

There were times I wanted to jump through the page and pop her upside the head, but as the ending drew near I began to love her. She may have been cold to Samantha, but her heart was pure. Wish she showed it more. I adored JR and Kate-D — they were amazing kids and seemed to have grown into phenomenal adults towards the end. This story brought tears to my eyes and made me smile. Totally recommend this. Great one-sitter read that will leave you with a warm feeling in your heart.

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Cat Welcomes Back Diane and Part 3 of “Goodreads Turn Bad” No More Giveaways?

A week or so ago I had a wonderful author and poet as my guest, Diane Lockward. She had written a couple amazing articles on her blog about the changes to GoodReads Giveaways as she was is pretty upset with GoodReads, as I am,  taking away the paperback giveaways and joining with KDP in now using e-books for promos and now charging a pretty penny for the new plans!


“Goodreads Introduces New U.S. Giveaways Program–A More Powerful Book Marketing Tool for Authors and Publishers”

The problem is, they are now charging authors to do so with “pay to giveaway” plans. You can read the details and how it works here on GoodReads New Giveaway Program.    Diane has been testing this new way and wasn’t happy with the results on GoodReads. She was going to test Facebook ads and I said I would SHARE that outcome and she has now tested FB and here is what she found in a new blog post!! I hope it helps all my author friends who may, like me, have trying to figure GoodReads new program out! Lol. ~ Catherine

Blogalicious


“In my last post, I told you about my experience with an Amazon Giveaway. I have now completed my experimental Facebook Giveaway. Here are the details.”

I posted my Giveaway on Facebook on Friday morning, May 25. It ran until 7:00 PM EST on Wednesday, May 30. I posted it around 11:00 AM on my Timeline, the Terrapin page, and my author’s page. I also posted it in four groups I belong to. In addition, there were several Shares from most of these spaces. The ability to post in multiple areas on the site is a definite advantage to a Giveaway at Facebook. At Goodreads, you can post only on your own page, and Amazon posts it wherever they post Giveaways. I never even saw it on Amazon.

I asked people to enter the Giveaway by putting in a comment below the announcement. Most just entered their name or a note like “I’m in!” but quite a few posted lovely compliments! Unexpected bonus compliments!

Here are some of the compliments:
“I have the first book and love it.”
“Diane, your book sounds amazing!!”
“Love & use volume 1 all the time with my classes!”
“These guides are sensible, informed, clearly written, and stimulating. What more could a poet want?!”
“This looks fantastic.”
“I always recommend The Crafty Poet. It’s a great resource. Can’t wait to read Part II!”
“Your workshop books are a must for any practicing poet or teacher of poetry!”

These testimonials do not happen with Goodreads or Amazon. I felt real people out there wanting to win, not a sea of faceless strangers. This kind of response really put a smile on my face …

Here are the statistics:

The total number of entrants: 77 with the bulk of them appearing on my FB timeline, but also some in all the FB groups where I posted. I was happy with this number and suspect that it would have been higher if I hadn’t posted on a holiday weekend.

One winner: Was notified next day, book now in the mail!

Total Cost:
the 
cost of one book which I had at home, one envelope, $3.19 postage!

The Facebook Giveaway is the least expensive. Much less expensive than Goodreads at $119.00 and less than half the Amazon one as well!

Big boost in sales? No, but that is common to all three Giveaways (and I can hope that some Facebook entrants will later hop on over to Amazon and hit the Buy button–in fact, I did have a few sales shortly after I announced the winner!).

Unexpected perks: 1) One person who saw my post on Facebook asked for a review copy so she could write a review for the paper she works for, 2) Another person asked if she could post my two earlier blog posts on her writing blog = more exposure!

My conclusion is that given the choice between a paid Giveaway at Goodreads, a low-cost one at Amazon, or a free one on Facebook, the best option is Facebook—by far.

Goodreads leads to more people entering, but on Facebook, you have the ability to reach additional people if you have a substantial list of friends. You can extend your reach by sharing to groups and pages on Facebook. You can also set your own time frame—I recommend just a few days as information goes through the feed so fast. Most of my responses came in the first two days.

And the cost is less than at Goodreads (by a lot) or at Amazon (by about $10). And you might get a few compliments!  ~Diane Lockward, Poet, and Author

Happy Memorial Weekend Guest Post By Blogalicious and Diane Lockward, Author ~ Poet.

Hello and Welcome Everyone and Especially Authors! Today’s Guest is Poet and Author, Diane Lockward. I visited her blog and read two posts she had shared about the changes GoodReads has made to Giveaways and crossed over with Amazon KDP and a different way to do Promos and Giveaways. I hope it helps all of you to understand the “objectable and annoying” changes. Just how I and Diane feel about it! Lol. Happy Memorial Day Weekend Reading!

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Goodreads Turns Bad

Back in January Goodreads changed their Giveaway program. Prior to that time, authors could post a Giveaway for a book. No Fee! Members of the site could sign up to win a free copy. After the conclusion of the Giveaway, a winner would be picked, the author would be notified with a name and address, and a free book would go out in the mail. An author could offer multiple free copies and also run subsequent Giveaways.

I liked the program a lot. When I did a Giveaway for any of my poetry books, I’d get around 300 signups. When I did a Giveaway for one of my craft books, I’d get as many as 600 signups. These people who signed up would often indicate “I Want to Read” for the title. My book got in front of a lot of eyes and I felt kind of popular.

I liked the program so much that when I started Terrapin Books one of the promotion suggestions I routinely made to my authors was that they run a Giveaway at Goodreads. I can no longer make that suggestion, nor will I again run a Giveaway for one of my own titles. That’s because, since January 8, 2018, authors and publishers are required to pay a fee for the formerly free service. That may be how the business world operates, but poets and poetry publishers simply cannot afford to pay the fees. 

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Goodreads now offers two fee options:

1) the Standard package for $119 for up to 100 copies (either Kindle ebook or print book). 
2) the Premium package for $599 is available for either print books or Kindle ebooks. 
 
Full details can be seen at the Goodreads site.

I’m not at all convinced that either of these options will generate sales for authors, certainly not for poets and publishers of poetry books. And there is no way that I will pay for the service, nor can I ask my authors to do so.

For one thing, while I liked the program in the past and enjoyed having my book page fill up with Want to Reads, I never saw any spike in sales following a Giveaway. Maybe I’d get one new review. I wondered if other authors shared my feelings and experience. So I put the question out to a Facebook group that I belong to. I asked if authors had found that a Giveaway generated any sales.

Not one person said Yes. Not one. Not one person said she’d pay for the service. These people, by the way, included prose writers as well as poets. One author described her experience as “I did it but I don’t think it’s made any difference. I will not do it again.”

Another said, “I did it and zero effect!”

Another said, “I did get reviews on Goodreads from my Giveaway but no sales that I could see.”
A publisher said, “it did not increase the sales at all.“

One author who paid for the new service said, “I did it right when they opened it up to ebooks and it was half off! I didn’t pay for the ‘featured’ status or whatever but I ended up there anyway because it was brand new and there weren’t many other ebooks. I’m glad I did it then because honestly, it was worthless. Will not do it again.”

Not too encouraging, is it? I rarely go to the Goodreads website since the change. I wonder if I’m alone in that.

I also wonder if it would be worth trying out an Amazon Giveaway. So I’m trying it out. I just created an Amazon Giveaway for The Crafty Poet II: A Portable Workshop. There’s a form that had to be filled out. Within an hour I received a confirmation of the Giveaway request. That was very similar to a confirmation of a purchase.

Then this morning I received notification that my Giveaway had gone live. The notification included a link that I can share so that people will sign up, but Amazon also somehow advertises the Giveaway. I just offered one copy. There is a cost for the person running the Giveaway—the price of one book and postage. I expect that the postage fee of $8 will not actually be that high. Amazon, unlike Goodreads, ships out the book. Not free, but more affordable than $119. Let’s see how this all works out! Till Next Time …

Goodreads Turns Bad, Part 2: Amazon

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WELL, In my last post, I complained about the recent elimination of the free Giveaway at Goodreads, now replaced with a costly Giveaway. The fee imposed makes the service prohibitive for poets and small press publishers. I decided that the time was right to try an Amazon Giveaway for my craft book, The Crafty Poet II: A Portable Workshop. That experiment is now over. Here are the results.

It was easy to set up the Amazon Giveaway and it went into effect immediately as Goodreads now does also (used to be a 7-day wait period). While a Goodreads Giveaway allows the user to select the length of time the Giveaway will run, there is a 7-day time limit on the length of the Amazon Giveaway, but that time will be cut off once a winner has been selected.

There are several options for how a winner is selected. My Giveaway was over within hours of its start time. I selected that there would be one book given and that each entrant had a 1 in 100 chance of winning. I would increase the 100 if I were to do another Amazon Giveaway as that would extend the time.

Amazon provided me with a Giveaway page code, but I never used it as the time was up so fast. They quickly sent me statistics. I had 424 Hits (people who looked at the Giveaway), 175 Entrants (people who entered the Giveaway), 14 Page Visits (people who went from the Giveaway page to the book page).

So the exposure for my book with an Amazon Giveaway was far less than with past giveaways I ran at Goodreads, but I could increase the exposure if I changed the odds.

I was given the name of the winner as I was with Goodreads, but with Goodreads, I had to mail out the book while with Amazon they mailed out the book. Before Goodreads turned bad, the only cost I incurred was the cost of one book, envelope, and postage. Amazon charged me a “setup cost” of $27.09 and later refunded $.06. The price for my book at Amazon is now $18.64 discounted from $21.99. So I was charged $8.39 for postage and handling. It would cost me less if I mailed a copy from my own stash and paid the postage.

Conclusion: I doubt I’ll do another Amazon Giveaway as I don’t see any particular benefit to it. It’s far less costly than a Goodreads Giveaway, but had no apparent effect on sales.

But just to continue this experiment one step further, I’m going to try a Giveaway on Facebook. I’ll let you know how that turns out and hopefully, Cat will fill you in on those results! Lol.

Poet and Blogger, 
Diane Lockward

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I am Diane Lockward, I live and write poetry in New Jersey. I am the author of four full-length poetry collections, most recently The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement. My earlier books are Temptation by Water (Wind Pub, 2010), What Feeds Us, which received the 2006 Quentin R. Howard Poetry Prize, and Eve’s Red Dress. I am also the author of The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop, a how-to book for poets; and the sequel, The Crafty Poet II. My poems appear in a number of anthologies such as Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems for Hard Times and in such journals as Harvard Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. My poems have been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, and The Writer’s Almanac. I am the founder, editor, and publisher of Terrapin Books, a small press for poetry books.

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