WIN a free membership: SCBWI Caribbean South

The Caribbean South chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is giving away two free annual memberships.

All you have to do is submit an unpublished children’s manuscript from any of the islands listed below that speaks about your island’s folklore or draw your very own ‘Tanti Merle’ from Paul Keens Douglas “Tanti at the Oval.”

The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators is a professional information and networking society of over 19,000 authors, agents, editors and illustrators world wide. Based in Los Angeles, the SCBWI is the largest of its kind and has chapters in 200 regions. Our membership package is an invaluable tool for aspiring and professional writers and artists. It includes indispensable ‘how to’ articles and a directory of publishers in the field. One of the best things about SCBWI membership is the networking opportunity it presents to gain fruitful contacts the world over.

The Caribbean South chapter was launched in Trinidad in September 2005 and serves the following islands Anguilla, Saint Maarten, St Barbs, Saba, Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia, Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Guyana, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Tortuga and Trinidad and Tobago (and everything in-between)

The competition is open to non-members and members alike, and all work submitted remain the property of the author or illustrator.

The deadline to submit is November 1, 2017. 

SCBWI-2017-Competition

For further information and membership details visit http://www.scbwi.org.

 

Marsha Gomes-Mckie, Regional Advisor , Caribbean South

info@marshagomes.com

 

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Book of the Day resumes in 2017

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Caribbean Books Foundation’s Book of the Day promotional book feature resumes in 2017. It will run from the 1st January to 30 November 2017. 

Books from the online catalog are chosen randomly and by genre to fill this feature and are usually set a month in advance.

Authors who join the online catalog at http://www.caribbeanbooks.org are also welcomed to request a date to be featured if the date correspondence with a book launch or book giveaway.

Caribbean Books Foundation is an international platform that connects the Caribbean Community and its Diaspora through its literature.

 

 

 

 

Come home …

Image result for brain drain definition

When i was younger i learnt about the ‘brain drain’ theory in school. It’s real. The ‘brain drain’ is the departure of educated or professional people from one country, economic sector, or field for another usually for better pay or living conditions and guess where most of the drain ended up. In America.

For so many years the Caribbean has seen some of its best succumb to the allure of the American currency and so has many other nations. Citizens leave and pledge allegiance to the good old USofA and forget that their homeland need their talent, their wisdom and economics and their taxes to grow.

When i was younger i imagined people coming off the plane in New York City and a mesmerizing wind took away their senses. That could be the only explanation for leaving children to be called barrel babies and leaving parents to grow old and die without them. America was hypnotic black magic to my little mind. Today my family and my heart is in Trinidad so there is no temptation to find out what lies beyond the magic flight.

That said, i want immigrants to know that every time a professional chooses to work in another country or build a business in another land, the economy at home losses out on your contribution. Yes, go to the country educated yourself, learn a new skill, absorb everything but please come home. It’s time to turn the ‘brain drain‘ into a ‘brain gain.

I know today there are many second generations Caribbean national who were born and raised in America and its all you know but just like your grandparents who moved seeking better, you also have the option of moving back and not just because of the political climate but because you are a part of something more. You are always welcome because you can build a brighter future.

The economic climate in the Caribbean 50 years ago was very different from today. Today we are on the threshold of rapid economic growth, with technological advances and infrastructural growth. It’s a great time to help grow something that appreciates your effort. It’s time to MAKE the CARIBBEAN GREAT.

make-the-carib-great  Today you can return and be your own boss. You can apply to jobs from America at www.caribbeanjobs.com and come to the island prepared.

Don’t wait until you are deported or frustrated, make this an option upfront. After College say to yourself i wonder what the Caribbean offers. Come back home with granny and visit the beach every weekend, explore all your options.

 

Come home.

Empress_Expressions

No longer a hobby…

A year ago I went to a fashion show; each designer had at least twelve pieces of clothing. They each got their fifteen minutes on the catwalk and wowed. Models came out in style, designers bowed with their collection and they were ready to take orders. I sat there and imagined the catwalk full of authors with their books on show.

How many of us have one published book to walk down the catwalk proudly with?  How many of us have five to twenty works of writing to exhibit? At that time I had only one, that was properly edited and really public ready. I had a number of finished-to-edit and unfinished manuscripts with too many potential stories. I imagined my models on the catwalk with only one finished dress. The rest of my collection would be missing buttons or bottoms (endings). All the sides wouldn’t be sewn up; some would be hung together with pins.  I winched as I sat there thinking about my wild and crazy fashion show. Unlike a designer my product couldn’t be reviewed in fifteen minutes but all artists have one thing in common. They have to complete their work before they can show it and sell it.

Not one of those designers came to the show with one dress because it didn’t matter how dynamic that one dress was, it meant one sale while a collection meant multiple orders. An art gallery has the same mind-set. One glorious painting at the middle of the gallery you would never see. There is certain power in numbers: numbers to attract different tastes, numbers to widen the profit margin and numbers to establish a brand.

As a writer my brand is my books but I realized I wasn’t writing enough.

I know that writing isn’t a race and a fashion designer and artist isn’t a writer but the principle of sales is universal. If you have one product in a certain market, there is a point of saturation for that one dress/book. Soon your fans will look to see what else you have on the market. If you have a collection it is very likely they will buy another dress/piece if they loved the first but if you have nothing else to offer they move on.

That is the year I made up my mind to treat my writing as a business and stop calling it a hobby.

I stopped looking at one book and started to plan for the collection. I’ve known a number of authors who have published one book and the marketing work they did could have definitely covered five books at the same time. I placed my manuscripts in categories, I gave myself a monthly target of words and I made time to write even if it meant missing sleep and socializing.  When I print I want to have a very diverse book launch, nevertheless I have been publishing e-books as I go along.

One year later I have two distinct genres, the first is paranormal/folklore fantasy fiction which I write under the pen M. Mckie and children books which I write under Aunty Marsha Books. My collection is not yet complete but I like what I see and I build on it every day. My target is three books per year after the first launch (2017) in each category. I will also like to explore the young adult genre, contemporary romance and more magical realism in the future.

Feel free to follow me on Facebook, Book likes and Goodreads for occasional giveaways and new releases.

My website is http://www.marshagomes.com.

Lightning Fire: The Blue Moon’s Calling – 2 day free download

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Five star review:

“Oh for the love of Green eyes, strong chests and bare-chested shirts!!!!! This book has paranormal, werewolves, fairies, magic, sex, and more sex and a lot of sensual romance……… oh I am melting!!!! Thank you Ms Gomes-Mckie for sharing this amazing story with us, the readers!”

Synopsis: Almost 200 years ago the Fairy world turned to the Lycans for protection after a deadly vampire attack took away their flying magic. Although safe, they are faced with the reality that this same alliance have weaken their blood line and made it impossible for them to complete a successful blue moon ceremony since, to restore their magic.
With two months away from a blue moon’s rising, the monarchy is sure that crown Princess Lily is the key to save them, but as luck would have it a Lycan Alpha dies and Arn the new Alpha is not interested in signing a renewed alliance without a bride. Faced with choosing between the safety of his borders and the hand of his pure daughter Monarch Alcazar is forced to reveal that his daughter is a twin and offers Luna instead, in hope that she would please the wolf and buy them enough time to complete the ceremony.
Luna enters a world that not only unlocks the secret of her lineage but she realizes in a most embarrassing way that she actually has a powerful light that only comes out of her when Arn brings her to an orgasm. Arn commits to helping her master it and it triggers a suppressed memory from his childhood, which reveals what really happens the night his parents died. This insight into his past proves to be the key to helping him uncover the fact that he has inherited a complicated rule filled with betrayal, murder and strife. With pure nerve and brute force Arn fights to uncover the conspiracy which threatens to devastate the continuance of his pack. While Luna is called upon to step in and complete the Blue Moon ceremony herself when Lily fails, placing her in harm’s way.
Their ultimate success will only come when they both join forces to reconcile their past in time to save a world that depends only on the strength of their love to survive.

This book will be free to download on the 25 and 26 September 2016. Please download, read and leave a review.

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THE GHOST – 2 day free download

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Five star review: “I rather enjoyed this story. A story about a Caribbean Island with two resident demons, and the people who got caught between their individual snares. But mostly it was about Theodore and Madgalene; a ghost of a man, cursed for 100 years, and a young woman who desperately needs to take control of her own life. For them love was a trap, a poison and ultimately the one thing that could save them both.”

Synopsis: Magdalene inherits the neighborhood’s haunted house and she didn’t even know her family owned it.
She bravely decides to move in and finds the house is really haunted by a ghost who awakens her sensuality. He spends his time strumming an old grand piano and she knows she has found a soul mate for her violin.
When she digs into his past she unearths a family secret and comes face to face with a curse which threatens to hold more than her heart captive.
Magdalene starts a chain of events that puts them both at the mercy of an evil spirit.
Can she find the means to break the curse or is she destined to be yet another causality of the house on All Hallows Eve?

This book will be free to download on the 25 and 26 September 2016. Please download, read and leave a review.

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Book Reviews, Book Reviews

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I find myself reviewing a lot of Romance Fantasy Fiction lately.

Which is in part because I write Romance and Fantasy sometimes together, so i get a few of those requests every month but I read and review all fiction for free. Well i need a copy of your book – kindle or print is accepted.

ALL BOOKS, from picture books to thrillers. OK not twisted dark fantasies aka horrors, i scare easily and i have an overactive imagination so it takes days to get over extra scary stuff. (ok it also happens with mildly scary books too or books without a happy ending or books where the poor dog dies or books with too much abuse to women and children or books that just don’t end – closure is important.)

That being said, i really will read your book and post a review for you online (amazon, goodreads, my blog, my booklikes blog), if you ask nice enough.

I don’t post review below 2 stars. I would send you a note why i didn’t like the book, but i would rather not mess up your average with a poor review. As an author myself i know the struggle.

As of this week. I am adding my past reviews to this blog and will add any new reviews henceforth.

Feel free to reach out at marsha@caribbeanbooks.org to request a review or contact me on social media.

All the best!

Let’s find ways to promote each other’s work.

#caribbeanauthors #caribbeanbooks

bookreview

Barbadian Author launches Bridgeland

MEDIA RELEASE
Barbadian author launches self-published Bridgeland: Volume One graphic novel

July 29, 2015/Bridgetown, Barbados

Bridgeland. Marc Gibson

Barbadian author and film-maker, Marc R. D. Gibson, celebrates the print release of his self-published first graphic novel, Bridgeland: Volume One.

The intimate event held at the Old Spirit Bond in early July was well attended by various members of the local literary and arts community, fellow authors and film-makers, as well as a number of governmental representatives including Director (Ag) of the Commission for Pan African Affairs, Dr. Deryck Murray, and Cultural Industries Development Consultant, Andrea King.

With interior illustrations by Tristan Roach and cover art by Cherise Ward, Bridgeland: Volume One tells the first part of a gripping and suspense-filled saga set in contemporary Barbados that poses the question ‘How far would you go for family?’ The original story follows two teenage brothers from an underprivileged background after they execute a half-baked plan to burgle a wealthy home that goes tragically wrong.

Gibson stated that even though time-line for the pet project, from conception to present, spanned a decade; he was pleased by his accomplishment, adding that the milestone was not only a representation of his effort, but the support and encouragement he received from Bridgeland’s many supporters.

According to Gibson, since the launch the response to his graphic novel has been outstanding. He admitted that he took sincere delight in delivering signed copies to persons who were unable to attend the launch. “I’ve been working and talking about Bridgeland for a long time. My sheer determination and dedication was something that some people personally told me got them interested in it,” the author commented.

Gibson added there have been some unexpected developments. “When I learned that the Governor of the Central Bank (Dr. DeLisle Worrell) wanted a copy of my graphic novel, I was flabbergasted!” Gibson explained that the twists continued. Instead of a brief signing and quick photo op, he instead enjoyed an almost 90-minute, intimate conversation that began with his and the Governor’s mutual love for the media of graphic novels and comic books, and extended through an eclectic range of topics.

Gibson stated that he had a number of things up next on his slate, including completing Bridgeland: Volume Two, penning a memoir about life with a rare condition, and wrapping up production on the crime/drama web-series Strongarm for the Blazer Base Network.

Bridgeland: Volume One has been available on http://www.chattelhousebooks.com in e-book format since November 2014 and will be available in print at Chattel House Books in Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael, Barbados in August this year.

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Author and film-maker Marc R. D. Gibson signs a Bridgeland poster for a fan.
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Bridgeland: Volume One author Marc R. D. Gibson is all smiles with Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. DeLisle Worrell after he received his signed copy of the graphic novel.

If I Never Went Home by Ingrid Persaud

A BOOK REVIEW

If i never went home

I appreciated the realness of the story as it looked at growing up in the Caribbean in a small village and the effects that it had on both of the main characters in Trinidad and even after migrating to Boston.  The certainty that your childhood stays with you and shapes you into the person you become or doesn’t become holds true and it was well portrayed.

I have to admit that I took a while to get accustomed to the fact that the story had two main voices because Bea had frequent flashbacks to her childhood when the second character, Tina was also a child. I did a bit of re-reading before I could find my bearings. Nevertheless once found, I read it with ease and comfort.

I would have liked to find out more about how Bea made the transition from patient to doctor after that final blow with her mother. She didn’t have any support to overcome it and she had a bad track record. Her character matured somewhere in the book to take that leap of faith in the end and I was waiting for the flashback to go through it with her. I am also a sucker for a happy romantic ending and I was looking forward to at least one, but my bubble got burst quickly especially with the good doctor.  I connected with Tina, a very strong character who was dealt a hard deal in life and she pushed back, sometimes too hard while forgetting to develop principles of her own. Life really isn’t about how much you fall and she persevered into my heart as I routed for her in spite of and would love to hear more about her story.

The book touched on many family issues and lifestyle consequences like incest, adultery, divorce, domestic violence and everything in between.

This is my first read from the author Ingrid Persaud and I look forward to reading other books from her.

This review was completed through Caribbean Books Foundation review programme contact marsha(a)caribbeanbook.org