Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Covers of the Dream Bucket

When John Cooke designed the cover of The Dream Bucket,
he wanted to make it look mysterious. He pointed out that people would wonder what went on in that old cabin and what people dreamed about. (iStock 000004593971)
Years ago, I'd considered using a bucket of money,The Dream Bucket is much more than a pile of money.
(iStock_000002976274) but no one seemed interested.

Using the old house attracted quite a bit of attention. We found a house that almost matched the description in the novel. The house is larger than the one where the Camerons lived. Also it's missing the kitchen door.

We sliced off most of the house, because I wanted to focus on the window where Zoe sat every night for hours while her children slept. She crouched on an inverted bucket and prayed. From her perch she also defended her family. I don't want to spoil the story for you by telling too much.

First John designed it long and skinny to meet the regulations for a Kindle book.

When it is released as an audio book, it will need to be square. Also he added the name of the narrator, Clay Lomakayu, to the front cover. As soon as the audio book is ready,  you will receive a notice.

In the meantime, feel free to download a copy of the Kindle version, which is free July 1 and 2. After then it will cost $2.99.

July 1 and 2, the Kindle E-Book version will be free on Amazon.

Spending time writing fiction, I've learned some things about living. Sometimes it appears that writers are hermits, spending hours tucked away in their private places clicking keys on laptops.

Such an image of writers is accurate, but by looking more closely, I've discovered that writers experience their lives in a more vivid world than they would if they didn't write. They create situations, characters, and plots with more intensity sometimes than what goes on around them.

Also I've learned that writers need people . . . friends, people who read, and people who write. Right now, I need a little help with something. Actually The Dream Bucket needs your help. 

Thousands of you have selected it to read. I'm grateful and amazed. Clay Lomakayu, an outstanding actor, has narrated 39 of the 40 chapters. He chose the book because  he liked the world he saw in it from the beginning. At the end of reading it he says, it "teaches the basic principles of moral and compassionate behavior." 

I hope it entertains and shows ways to cope with some of life's most challenging struggles. I believe Trudy, Zoe, and Sam will fill your heart with the joy of being alive. It's story about two families in rural Mississippi in the early 1900's.  Life wasn't simpler, but it was closer to the earth. 

Amazon is awarding a stipend to the narrator because, according to Amazon, The Dream Bucket has potential. In the fine print, Amazon warns they could changer their mind. Oh, no! Amazon looks carefully at the number of reviews when it awards hundreds of dollars to promote a book.

As I said, thousands have read it, but only 34 readers have reviewed it on Amazon.  I need you to review it if you haven't already.  Short reviews, long reviews--it doesn't matter. Or if you don't feel like reviewing, please vote or comment on some other people's reviews.

July 1 and 2, 2015, the Kindle E-Book version will be offered free on Amazon. If you missed it, please download a free copy. You can view it on your computer or other electronic device.


The scheduled date for releasing the audio book is August 1, but we are almost a month ahead of schedule. Hearing the book read by an expressive voice brings it alive. I can't wait to share the spoken book with you. It will be available on I-Tunes, Audible, and Amazon.

Photo: iStock_000004593971Medium


Friday, June 19, 2015

The offer to get a free copy of Abi of Cyrene has expired.

It now costs $3.99.

Thanks to all of you who have downloaded my newest novel.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #841 Free in Kindle Store 
#3 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > History > World > Jewish

#9 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Religious & Inspirational Fiction > Christian > Historical

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The blessings of The Dream Bucket overflow.

Four thousand books currently wait at Amazon to be selected by professional producers to record them. I'm amazed that The Dream Bucket caught the attention of a very gifted and highly trained professional book producer, Clay Lomakayu. He is an actor, singer, teacher, storyteller and public speaker. For many years he was a narrator and entertainer on the Verde Canyon Railroad.

Clay has completed his reading of approximately one fourth of The Dream Bucket.  He is scheduled to complete the audiobook by July 31, 2015, but he's ahead of schedule. His interpretation of the book is entertaining and insightful. I'm at a loss of words to tell you what a remarkable job he is doing. He says he is living the book.

After Clay auditioned to read the book and I offered him a contract, Amazon selected the book to receive a stipend. All this simply means the person I select for this book will receive an additional payment for producing it. Since authors are currently offering 4,000 books to be read, I'm both honored and humbled that Amazon placed a green ribbon on this book to indicate it will have a stipend.

John Cooke designed the cover for the Kindle version of The Dream Bucket. He redesigned it because the audio version requires a square cover. Also he added Clay's name as the reader.

Amazon, I-tunes, and Audible  will make the audio version of The Dream Bucket available. This version should be available by early August, 2015.

The new cover designed by John:

June 17, The Dream Bucket

The Dream Bucket is not an autobiography, but it is impossible for me to write without having inspiration from my life. 

This book I dedicated to my sister,  Ruth Ishee. When I first started writing it, she listened to the entire first draft on the phone. She lives in Mississippi, and I live in Louisiana. Although she knew the story was not a biography, she understood it so well that she often told me what I'd left out and what I should include next. Reading this book with her will always be one of my dearest sweet memories. As you might suspect, there were events in the story that were meaningful in our lives.

For me it commemorates my dear brother Buddy, whose birthday is today. Two young boys are characters in The Dream Bucket. One of them is named Buddy. Another one, whose name is Billy, has the character, humor, and mischievous streak that my brother Buddy had as a child. 

The audio version of The Dream Bucket is in production. Yesterday, John Cooke redesigned the cover, which is now square and contains the name of the actor, who is recording the book.  Soon, I'll share more exciting news about the production. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Exciting News About The Dream Bucket

Today, June 13, 2015, The Dream Bucket  went into production to be marketed in an additional form. In a few weeks it will be offered through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. It will continue to be available as a Kindle e-book too.

I promise to keep you informed as the production progresses. It will take a few weeks.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Write a New Novel

What about you? Have you ever wanted to write a book? Fiction maybe. A first book.
My Work Station 

Or you may have finished writing one book and you’re ready to start another. I’m in those shoes. It’s time to start a new novel.

The process of writing Abi of Cyrene  challenged me to grow as a person and to spend hours researching. I immersed my brain and my soul in a time two thousand years ago.
Even before I finished editing Abi, something new consumed my thoughts. It’s a personal story about some things
  • ·         55 years ago and
  • ·         155 years ago.

I can’t get it out of my mind. Not it . . . them. It’s two stories that mesh into one. Both communicate the same idea. Both happen in the same area. Telling a novel of two stories in two time periods is new for me.

This novel is important. Every novel I write is important to me, and I want it to be important to you.

I suspect you have some stories in your head too, and I’d love to read them.

Also if you’ve had experience with this kind of novel, please drop me a note on Facebook either on my timeline or as a message. On Facebook as with most of my books, I sign as Mary Lou Cheatham.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

What kind of book is Abi of Cyrene?

A writer has trouble placing her own book in a classification. I'm not sure why. What kind of book is Abi of Cyrene?

It is definitely a novel.

Christian? Yes. Amazon classifies it as Jewish.
Biblical? As explained within the text, it is based on a few facts about an unnamed woman in the Bible. It does not depart from what is in the scripture.
African? Definitely, and it's also Roman and Jewish.
Travel? Maybe, but Abi spends years not leaving Cyrene.
Mystery? It has a mystery in the middle of it, but it is not primarily a mystery.
Romance? It is a love story, but it is not only a romance.
Thriller? It has killing, combat with animals, scary things.
Fast-paced? Some say it is, but Abi is a character who thinks about everything.
Young Adult? Not really, however many young adults will be able to read it without problems.
Family? Yes, but it is a story about an individual often outside her family.
CBA? In other words, does it fit into the category of books approved by strict Christian publishers? Although I've struggled to be discreet, it has quite a bit of necessary violence, and it depicts Abi's life in detail. I've painted the intimate scenes with broad strokes to keep it in good taste.
Historical? Yes, but it is written in language that modern readers can understand.
Inspirational? Without seeming immodest, I can call it inspirational because it simply records some events that really happened.  Chapters 45, 46, and 47 make me cry over and over. please read Chapters 1-44 first so you can see the events through Abi's eyes.
Unique? If you type the words "Abi of Cyrene" on a search bar, you will see "Simon of Cyrene" with numerous novels, sermons, and articles. I have not found a single book told from the point of view of Simon's wife.
Didactic? Not at all. I have not set out to try to teach a moral lesson. Instead, I've attempted to show what happened to Simon and Abi and how their lives were affected.

After reading it, let me know what kind of book it is.

Monday, June 01, 2015

10 Descriptions Readers Are Giving Abi of Cyrene

  • Fast paced
  • Exotic 
  • Mature writing 
  • A book that will do well
  • Passionate 
  • Eye-catching book cover 
  • Informative
  • Entertaining
  • A joy and a blessing to read
  • Craziness . . . very real
This book is brand new, and readers are already giving it some awesome compliments. 

What I'm thinking about Abi of Cyrene:

It's free today, June 1, 2015, and I really, really want you to receive this gift from me. You can read it on your Kindle, computer, or other electronic devise.