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Friday, February 22, 2013

A Blast from the Past by Margot Justes


A past look at a short history, I wrote this blog March 19, 2011. I was disappointed with the cancellation of the cruise, but had a tremendous time visiting Israel. I lived in Haifa and other parts of Israel for three years, and once I set foot on land, the memories came flooding back, I even managed to find the school I attended. I’m hoping to go back, this time with friends. My dream to visit Egypt has yet to be fulfilled.

The most remarkable bit about this blog, is the hoped for peaceful resolution in Egypt, sad to say it has yet to happen. Hope you enjoy the rest of the blog.

Margot

A Cancelled Cruise.

Celebrity Cruises altered the itinerary for my cruise in October. Alexandria, Egypt was cancelled. I suspect not because of the peaceful overthrow of the government, but the cancellation occurred after the religious conflict between Christians and Muslims broke out.

No one from the cruise line announced that was the reason, it's my own supposition about the timing of the cancellation, and of course there is the unrest in the Middle East as a whole.

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. The Pyramids are still on my bucket list. The closest I've come is reading Elizabeth Peters' books and that just made the desire that much greater. Her descriptions are so vivid that you're right there along with Amelia Peabody and her celebrated spouse Emerson solving a mystery, amidst the archeological digs.

I cancelled the Celebrity cruise and went back to my old stand-by Royal Caribbean. Ashdod (Jerusalem) and Haifa, Israel are still part of the itinerary but now I'll also visit Kusadasi, Turkey, as well as Rhodes and Crete, Greece.

Egypt has been postponed until 2012. I sincerely hope that a solid democratic government will flourish, since that is what the general populace wanted when they peacefully toppled the old regime.

One can only hope for a peaceful resolution however tenuous the thread.

Cheers,
Margot Justes
www.mjustes.com
A Hotel in Paris

 

 

 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Niche Market by Margot Justes


How does an author find the perfect niche market and utilize it? Should be simple, target people with the same interests as your stories. Not so simple.

The internet and its web has huge potential marketability. How to harness all those intricate components?

I write about travel, art, mayhem and romance, mostly romance. Many people are interested in travel, art and many of the same people read romance novels. How do I reach them? This particular query would apply to many writers who have a niche market and are trying to find it.

I’m in the process of doing just that. I’m not good at promotion, that makes it doubly difficult, the plus side is that I’m willing to learn, and I’m willing to let readers know I’m here. The big question is how do I do that?

One way is to do a blog tour, or write blogs that others will post.  I’m half way there. Hopefully by the time I get back from vacation I’ll have a few blogs to write, and the tangled magic web will allow my name to reach a few more readers. I asked someone to do the research for me, it’s an affordable way to start, especially since I had no clue where to begin. I’ll post a blog about the success or lack thereof.

Since most of the sales are on line for the majority of the midlist authors, it is safe to say that books should be priced accordingly; that means reasonably. Give the readers a chance to take a peek at your work.  I priced A Hotel in Paris at $1.99, and my new release A Hotel in Bath at $2.99. I’ve yet to offer Paris or Bath for free on Amazon. I’m not sure that it is the way I want to go. I’ve read both positive and negative results, and haven’t made up my mind yet. I’m keeping that as an option.

I’ll attend a couple of conferences this year to help with the name recognition, and I have advertised with Affaire de Coeur. I’ve read that the more work you have out, the better the name recognition, and that three books is a good start. I have four out, and another on the way this fall. My vampire will make his debut either end of the year or early next.

It is a slow and painstaking process, this name recognition game, but an incredible learning opportunity. I’m looking forward to it.

 Cheers,
Margot  Justes
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
Hearts & Daggers
Hot Crimes Cool Chicks
www.mjustes.com

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A bit of the Caribbean by Margot Justes


It’s no secret I love to cruise, and soon I’ll find myself in the Southern Caribbean. The sightseeing is vastly different from the European visits.  

First, the Caribbean is more accessible from the US, and second, the pace is far more relaxed.  A perfect vacation, to get away from the stress of the daily routine, and get into the palm trees, beach and sand frame of mind. It is not rushed, does not possess the ‘I have to see everything because I don’t know if I’ll ever be back’ feeling. You can visit at your leisure because you might be back.

Okay I’m not a beach baby, and I must have something else to see and do, have no fear it’s there as well.

 If you find yourself in St. Thomas, there is Blackbeard’s Castle, with a tower thrown in for good measure. For those that climb all the way up, they can, on the way down stop in the Rum Blending & Bottling facility. Not only can you watch as the rum is blended and bottled, you can sample the brew and buy a few bottles, and they’ll deliver directly to the ship. How is that for convenience?

After you’ve satisfied your thirst, after all the climb up the tower is arduous, you can visit the amber museum. Along the way you’ll find a magnificent amber waterfall, it is not to be missed. The water shimmers along the various golden hues of the amber, and the effect is a feast for the eyes. There is a gift shop where you can find some unique and original amber pieces.

The history of the castle is fascinating, thoroughly enjoyable, and highly recommended. Every island has something unique to offer.

Cheers,
Margot  Justes
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
Hearts & Daggers
Hot Crimes Cool Chicks
www.mjustes.com

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Bit of Venice by Margot Justes


I’m immersed in Venice. My current work in progress (WIP) is set there. Memories of my trip are flooding back, and I’ll return this October for a refresher course.

Venice is mystical, its magic powerful, and just walking along the narrow ancient streets allows your imagination to soar. The eerily lit side streets, the reflecting glow in the canals and ancient brick walls, summon you forth. You cross an old bridge and you wonder who else walked along the same path.

Was it Don Juan? His face covered by a mask as he celebrated Carnivale, and waited for a damsel. Such is the evocative power of Venice. Steeped in history and romance, the stunning architecture,  the art, and the beautiful tranquil canals, all pull together to form this magical place called Venice.

The Grand Canal flows majestically, along the way, palaces and homes seem to float in the water, as the famous Rialto Bridge stands guard. It’s an evocative place to be sure. It’s a place where you can get lost in the history, go back in time, daydream, and imagine as things were, and still come back to the present and enjoy delicious coffee, black pasta and incomparable gelato.

 If you like glass, Venice offers that too, many buildings and hotels show proudly their Murano masterpieces. If you want to see for yourself, visit a furnace, or a gallery,  Murano is thirty minutes away by vaporetto. A beautiful way to travel on the Grand Canal.

 I’m looking forward to my return trip to a mysterious and magnificent city.

 Cheers,
Margot  Justes
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
Hearts & Daggers
Hot Crimes Cool Chicks
www.mjustes.com