Monday, October 13, 2014

Blog Breaks, Online Evaluations, and Scary Stuff

Interrupting this blog break to bring you the following news!

The awesome Carrie Butler, author of the Mark of Nexus series and marketer/designer extraordinaire, is beginning a blog series called Breaking It Down, where she evaluates blogs or online presence and offers suggestions.

I think I'm her first guinea pig.

She did a video evaluation and made some terrific suggestions that I'm already working to incorporate. Her blog post is here. You can check out the videos and see if there's anything you might not have considered:

(and this is the potentially scary stuff)

There was something she pointed out that I hadn't been aware of. Did you know that people can find out where you live by the information you have listed on your blog/webpage?

It's called Whois.

Go ahead. Open a new tab and type in "whois".

Godaddy comes up first, so I clicked it.

Type in your webpage address. You'll have to type in a captcha to prove you're human.

What does it say?

Mine gave my real life address (a few days ago). Not that I'm expecting any psycho stalkers or anything, but people can put the information from Whois into a Google search and find you.

See the outside of your house.

Know what kind of car you drive.

Watch your children playing outside if they were out there when the Google peeps were doing a driveby with their streetview van.

Creepy, no?

I went to my webpage provider and contacted them about adding a security feature. It's not expensive, and they did it almost immediately.

I strongly suggest you consider adding this if you haven't already.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Gone for a Soldier by Marsha Ward

Rulon Owen loves two things more than life---his country and Mary Hilbrands.

When Virginia secedes from the Union, Rulon enlists, and finds himself fighting foes both in battle and in his own camp. He struggles to stay alive against all odds, with a knife-wielding tent-mate and a Union army that seems impossible to defeat. It will take every ounce of vigilance he has to survive and, with a little luck, he might make it home to his wife and the son he's never seen.

Forced to live with her parents for the duration, Mary faces a battle for independence. With a mother whispering that her husband won't come home to her and a son who needs her to be both father and mother, Mary has to dig deep for strength to overcome her overwhelming loneliness and the unknown future ahead.

Separated by war and circumstance, Rulon and Mary discover that not all enemies wear the Union blue.

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About the Author
Marsha Ward was born in the sleepy little town of Phoenix, Arizona, in the southwestern United States; and grew up with chickens, citrus trees, and lots of room to roam. She became a storyteller at an early age, regaling her neighborhood friends with her fanciful tales during after-school snacks. Her love of the 19th Century Western era was reinforced by visits to her cousins on their ranch, and listening to her father's stories of homesteading in Old Mexico and in the southern part of Arizona.

Over the years, Marsha became an award-winning poet, writer and editor, with over 900 pieces of published work, including her acclaimed novel series featuring the Owen family. She is the founder of American Night Writers Association, and a member of Western Writers of America and Women Writing the West. A workshop presenter and writing teacher, Marsha makes her home in a tiny forest hamlet in Arizona. When she is not writing, she loves to spoil her grandchildren, travel, give talks, meet readers, and sign books. Visit her at either her website or one of her blogs!

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