Sunday, September 30, 2012


Quote by Barbara Kingsolver:  "Libraries are the one American institution you shouldn't rip off.
How important are libraries to you?  When I was a kid I had my nose in a book (not school books) all the time.  The only time I had a book of my own was when I received one as a gift at Christmas or for my birthday. 
The rest of the time I checked books out from the public or school library.  Reading was my escape to other places and triggered my need to travel as an adult.  Books taught me about other cultures, showed me the beauty of countries around the world and informed me that all people wanted the same things and had the same feelings. 

I'm not sure what Ms. Kingsolver meant by her quote.  I assume she was talking about stealing library books, but I'm not positive.  People do forget to return their books, or they misplace and can't find them.  I may be naive, but I don't most people intend to steal books from the library. 
With the economy like it is, people who read will turn to libraries to get their books.  It doesn't cost anything to check out a book.  Many libraries even have e-books.

Have a great week.  See you next Sunday.
Sandra K. Marshall

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Latest News

Happy Sunday Everyone,

You may know or be someone who can't read stories, but you like to listen to listen to stories.  This is a great opportunity for those who like to listen to audio.

I have news for you.  My short story, A Fool's Fool is out in audio at  You can go to this link, to order your copy.  You can even get it free for a brief time. 

Some of my other books will be coming out in audio soon. 
I'm very proud to be a part of this new process with my publisher.  You'll also be able to grade my story, the performance, and overall.

On to another topic, I have gotten my bifocals on Friday, and I'm trying to adapt to them.  I may have made a mistake not getting the trifocals since there is a bit of difference in reading a book and working on the computer. I will see my ophthalmologist again in four months.  Hopefully, everything will be okay, and I can adjust to these glasses. 

Thank you for reading my blog, and have a nice, peaceful Sunday. 


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Honor Killings

Hi Everyone,

My topic this week is a sober one, and I have given a lot of thought to it since I first heard about honor killings on 60 Minutes a couple of weeks ago.  I was raised to believe that there isn't any honor in killing.  In our country, we are raised to believe that to kill is a sin and is punishable by imprisonment.

On 60 Minutes, they were talking about an honor killing of a daughter by her father.  He killed his daughter because she didn't obey him and is considered to have dishonored the family.  How did she do this?  She didn't marry a man that her family picked out for her. Instead, she ran away. 

Believe it or not young people there was a time in Europe and our country's past when women weren't allowed to make a choice in the man they married.  Fortunately, this changed a long time ago and today, we do make our choices.  We fought very hard for the right to vote, to make our choices in every way we lead our lives, and we can't allow it to fall by the wayside.

It's against our laws to kill anyone, so anyone who comes to our country must obey our laws or suffer the consequences of their actions.  As shocking as honor killings are to Americans this is something that is going on in our country and more frequently than we could possibly imagine.

Since I'm allowed to express my opinion in my country, I want to say I think this is a horrendous practice and it has to be stopped.  We can't stop it around the world, but we certainly can stop it here in the good old U.S.A.  It would bring great dishonor to my family if I killed someone.

What do you think should be done about honor killings?

Thank you for listening to me this Sunday. 

In case, you have been following my blog about cataract surgery, I learned this week that my vision is 20/50.  I received a prescription for my glasses and will be getting them sometime this week.  Yay for that, as I'm tired of having a headache every day. 

Have a great week.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

This is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, but there are many cancers that need our attention.  There isn't anyone who hasn't been touched by a cancer; either you, a family member, or a friend.

Many of you may have watched, Stand Up to Cancer.  This is what we have to do stand up to cancer.  Ovarian cancer took my mother because it wasn't detected soon enough, so I have listed the symptoms below.

Many of these symptoms can be causes for other problems, and because there are no sure tests for ovarian cancer you must be vigilant, especially those who have a history of ovarian cancer. 

  • Abdominal pressure, fullness, swelling or bloating
  • Pelvic discomfort or pain
  • Persistent indigestion, gas or nausea
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
  • Changes in bladder habits, including a frequent need to urinate
  • Loss of appetite or quickly feeling full
  • Increased abdominal girth or clothes fitting tighter around your waist
  • A persistent lack of energy
  • Low back pain

  • Thank you for visiting my blog this Sunday, and have a wonderful week.

    Best wishes,

    Sandra K. Marshall

    Sunday, September 2, 2012

    What Do You Consider Too High to Pay for E-books?

    Just recently there has been a dispute between five publishers and consumers over the price of e-books.  Three of the publishers are paying money back to the consumers, but two others haven't settled yet, or not as of two days ago. 

    It's not my intent to side with publishers, but to help inform the public about the work involved in e-publishing a book.  Most readers think the reason e-books are cheap is because there's not a lot of work to get a book out to the public in this format.

    Wrong!  E-publishers receive many submissions, and they weed through them to find a story with a germ of an idea that might sell, or a story that is so well written they might not have a lot of editing to do.

    Then there is the contract.  A lawyer is used to draw up contracts between the publisher and the author.  If they give all of their authors the same benefits and terms then they can use the same contract by changing titles, author names and dates.

    They have more than one artist to design the covers for books.  If the e-publisher allows the author input in the decision for the cover, there will be forms sent to her/him.  Questions like what color of hair and eyes your heroine/hero has, how tall are they, and a description of something they're wearing in a scene.  These are just a few things asked in the questionnaire for your book cover.

    Editors are essential for editing manuscripts before they can be published.  Most e-publishers have good editors, and many of them came from the print houses.  If you get a good editor, your work will be so much better than without one.  Nearly, all e-publishers sell well written stories because they edit, and their authors rewrite many times.  I will add that many authors hire an editor to look over their manuscripts before they self-publish, so there books can be good, too. 

    Next is the formatting.  This is a toughie, and it's very time consuming.  Most formats are PDF, Mobi Pocket, HTML and print.  Any place a book is placed has a different format.  For instant, Amazon and Barnes & Noble have different formats.  A store such as Sony store is different, and there are many other places where a book can be displayed that do use the same formats.

    Last but not least is marketing.  I must admit marketing is pretty much left up to the author, and it is in the author's contract that she/he must do a certain amount of promoting her/his books.  Publishers do have a website where their catalog of books are shown and can be bought in a format of your choice.

    Not being a publisher, I'm sure that I have left a lot out.  I just want to let people know that e-published books can be just as good as the big print houses. 

    I would love to hear what you are willing to pay for an e-book?

    Thank you for reading my blog, and I hope to see you next Sunday.