Phenology is the study of nature’s cycles and how they depend upon and respond to each other. Nature lives by seasons and its calendar doesn’t always correspond with society’s, and it differs from one region to the next.
If you love to keep track of nature, when the first robin appears in spring, when the first frost arrives in autumn and a hundred other events during the seasons, the Phenology Log Book by Diana Tibert is the book you’re looking for.
This log book is formatted to record events in nature for three years. There’s space in the table to record the event, such as the blooming of dandelions, and the date it happens each year for easy comparison. Seven pages at the end of the log book are left blank for notes.
Not ready to buy the book but still want to record nature’s events or want a larger form? We created a printable phenology page formatted in the same style of the book. You can download it and print as many pages as you want and put them in a binder.
This is a great exercise for children to do to connect them with nature and to help them understand the changes in the seasons.
Find the formatted sheet on the Phenology Log Book page.
COMING SOON: Diana Tibert’s Fluid of Life. A little book that may change your life.
For almost 40 years, Diana has struggled with low iron. It wasn’t a problem when she was younger and before she had children but shortly after her second child was born, she felt drained. Doctors and blood tests found nothing wrong; she was only borderline anemic.
During hospital visits to give birth to three children and to remove her gallbladder, she found nuggets of wisdom that helped her live with anemia. It wasn’t until a friend suffered a life-threatening health issue with her blood, that Diana found the true source of her problem. Once identified, the battle began.
Fluid of Life is Diana’s journey to learn about anemia and how it affected her body. The book contains information on blood health every woman in mid-life needs. Diana shares the pieces of the puzzle that empowered her to regain control of her life, to disperse the fog and start living. These were key pieces not given during her many doctor visits.
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A few days ago, The One We Forgot to Love by Sandy Totten was launched. During all the final reads, tweaking of covers and final design changes, I had a chance to talk with Sandy about her book. Like every new author holding their first book in their hands, she was overjoyed.
I asked her what had inspired her to write The One We Forgot to Love, and she said what I heard many writers say: “I have always wanted to write a novel.”
Saying that and doing it are two very different things. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone proclaim, “I’m going to write a book,” I’d have oodles of cash.
However, Sandy did write the book.
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Mystery Light in Cranberry Cove by Candy McMudd is a story for ages 10 and up. It’s about Prim, who is 12, her younger brother Henry, age 10, and their mother who arrive at their cottage in Cranberry Cove to spend the summer. Her cousin, Shona, who is the same age, comes with her.
They meet up with another cousin, Ellis, also the same age, and together they stumble onto the biggest mysteries of the cove.
It’s a story about adventure, ghost stories, pirates, searching for treasure, seaside exploring and discovering family history. It takes place in the 1990s and returns readers to a simpler time when kids enjoyed outdoor activities and were not tied to screens.
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This morning as I watched the sun rise, sending its brilliant light upon the land, I thought about the opening scene of chapter 28 in Shadows in the Stone. It was a morning that had bathed Bronwyn Darrow in dawn’s early light, awakening him after a night of despair, one that witnessed him give up all hope and collapse to the forest floor.
I’d like to share the opening of that scene this morning for anyone who feels hopelessly lost. Renew yourself. Set aside that which weighs you down from the past, and look to the future.
The Castle Keepers series is about adventure, magic, family, home and friendship, but it’s also about hope. As Tam told Isla, “A good man isn’t down until all those who matter have lost hope.”
Chapter 28 Here in the Twilight
The six legs of the ladybug moved in unison across the leaf. They carried the red and black bug to the base of the foliage where it joined with the stem. Tiny white aphids worked there in the axil, sucking sweet juices from the plant and creating sugar that ants would harvest. The ladybug feasted on the succulent aphids until a robin swooped down, snatched it and flew off to feed its young.
The rush of wings pushed a breeze across the face of the dwarf lying on the forest floor nearby. A soft cool wind entered his air passages and worked to awaken his senses. Gentle but persistent prickles inside his nose and throat roused him further. He breathed deeper. The first dry swallow forced him to generate spit.
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Fluid of Life – What doctors never told me about my blood tells the story of Diana Tibert’s experience of living with anemia. Here’s a clip from the first chapter.
My First Blood Test
I was a healthy child and teen, so my parents saw no need to take me to the doctor’s office for a check-up. We didn’t go unless there was a problem. After all, it cost money to visit a doctor back then, and we were poor. The two dollar-service fee could buy a lot of food in the 60s and 70s and with 12 mouths to feed, every penny was needed.
I was in grade 11 or 12 when I had my first blood test, which really wasn’t a blood test at all. The organisation in Nova Scotia that did blood drives in the early 80s came to our high school and set up a blood-donor clinic in our gymnasium. I heard the rumour that if we gave blood, we could skip class. What teen doesn’t want to miss class?
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When readers stumble upon an author they’ve never read, they often read a few pages of the story to determine if they enjoy the writing style. This can easily be done by checking out the available sample of a book in “Look Inside” at Amazon.
If you’ve never used “Look Inside”, go to Shadows in the Stone by Diane McGyver and click on the image of the book cover. A new window will pop-up. Scrolling downward reveals the front material of the novel as well the first four chapters.
McGyver enjoys opening up a scene as if she’s zooming in or out with a movie camera. In fact, one Amazon reviewer had this to say: “It’s like an award-winning movie director telling the person behind the camera to lower or raise the picture in the viewfinder for a new angle.”
Below is one example of how McGyver opens a scene in Shadows in the Stone.
The evening air cooled, and the sun sank behind the trees. A few clouds drifted through the sky but nothing of any size to prevent the crescent moon from casting a gentle glow upon the landscape. The earth settled into a tranquil nap to rejuvenate from the day and to allow nocturnal creatures to tend to their livelihood under the cloak of darkness. The forest breathed a relaxed sigh. All was as it should be.
Anxious energy shot through the air, awakening slumbering fairies and disturbing the quietude of the woods. As strangers approached, nerves stood on end, and creatures hid or prepared to defend their domain. Waiting in the darkness, they held their breath as danger arrived. The laboured breathing of horses echoed from the shadows. Sprays of white, foamy spit flew from their mouths as they released the oxygen-stripped air. The squeaking of leather against leather beat the same rhythm as the hooves stomping the ground. Their riders kicked them, spurring them forward into the night.
BUY the NOVEL
Shadows in the Stone, the first book in the Castle Keepers series, is available to Kindle Unlimited Members and the world at Amazon.
Download your copy today to start the adventure.
Late this afternoon, I checked in on Twitter, and a follower left this tweet and tagged Quarter Castle Publishing:
I’m sorry that I followed you. I did not read your website and therefore did not discover that you were a fucking vanity publisher disguising it under the label joint publishing packages.
Writers get paid
Then, they added this:
I repeat. I am sorry that I followed you without realizing that you are a fucking vanity publisher dressing it up as shared publishing packages.
Check the website people.
I was going to ignore the rant, but after thinking about it, I responded with the following:
“I understand some will never accept self-publishing. That’s okay. We teach writers how to self-publish, and they go on to publish additional books on their own. We are here to support them and answer their questions even if a few years have passed.”
“Along w/ publishing books in the traditional fashion, we help writers self-publish their books. You do realize some writers want full control of their creation but don’t have the means to do it, right? A trad. pub. can’t allow that. We support these writers on their journey.”
I wasn’t interested in arguing or swapping nasty tweets with this person. However, I wanted others who came upon his tweet and visited our website to understand where Quarter Castle Publishing stands.
Who Am I?
I am Diana Tibert, the founder of Quarter Castle Publishing. I contract out certain aspects of the publishing process because at this stage, I cannot afford to hire someone permanently. I can do much of the work myself, but there are some things I can’t and sometimes I’m too busy or the project is too large. I have a friend who helps when things get busy. Most notably by responding to submissions and editing. I also have a gang of beta readers who provide input on projects.
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This week, Quarter Castle Publish has released the updated cover for Shadows in the Stone, the first book in the epic fantasy series Castle Keepers by Diane McGyver.
The novel is available in paperback and eBook. The eBook is available to Kindle Unlimited Members. To learn more about the book and the series, visit its page on our website: Shadows in the Stone.
To read the first four chapters for free, check out the eBook on Amazon and read the “Look Inside”.
Download your copy today and start your adventure into the Land of Ath-o’Lea.
Four-star Review by Don Cram
“This first book in Diane Lynn McGyver’s Castle Keepers series is very well done and will keep you turning pages right to the end. What I particularly enjoyed in this solidly mainstream fantasy is its fresh focus on established themes. It’s like an award-winning movie director telling the person behind the camera to lower or raise the picture in the viewfinder for a new angle.
“The fantasy world McGyver has created has the magical beings you might expect, but you’ll see them in new ways and see their story with fresh insights. At 190 centimeters I’m taller than the average person; the book made be believe I was seeing a magical world from a height a little less than half that. Enjoy.”
The debate rages on. Which is better? Being published by a traditional company or publishing your own work?
Your answer will depend on where you are in your publishing career.
Many times, travellers on one route are looking down at the other, but there’s no reason for this. We’re all in this together, and one path is right for some while the other trail is right for others.
Unfortunately, mud-slinging has become a popular sport these days between publishers (large and independent) and between authors (both traditionally published and self-published).
What publishers and authors need to know is readers don’t care about publishing companies; most readers can’t tell you the name of the company which published their favourite books let alone which one published the last book they read. Readers only care that the story is good…that’s it…bottom line.
The argument of which type of publishing company produces better work—independent or traditional—is meaningless to readers…and readers are the most important piece in this puzzle.
Do you remember the publishing company of your favourite books? How about the book you’re reading now (no peeking)?
If you’ve written a book and want to self-publish, we’re here to help. Learn more by visiting our Book Publishing Services.
Quarter Castle Publishing has helped many writers see their dream of publishing a book come true. One of those writers is H. L. Foster, who wrote Passing It On before Passing On. The New Brunswick-born writer, who currently makes her home in British Columbia, published her Insights on Healing from Interpersonal Trauma and Addictions in 2018.
“Foster’s ability to tell her story of discovery and healing and share it with readers is matched with her ability to understand how the mind works to enable healing. It gets readers thinking about themselves and what they can do to improve their circumstances in life.” From Diana Tibert’s review
The reviews on Amazon echo Tibert’s sentiment.
“Lori’s insights are helpful for individuals struggling with recovery from trauma and addictions, for therapists, para-professionals and family members affected by a loved one’s addiction. Most importantly it is accessible and understandable for individuals without a background in psychology.”
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When creating fiction, writers inevitable learn to write dialogue. Supposedly a novel somewhere exists that doesn’t have dialogue, but has anyone seen it? The key to good dialogue is attributing the spoken words to the proper character, so readers instantly know who is saying them.
We do this by using dialogue tags: “The last time I heard this song by Charlie Rich,” Liam said, “you were young, adventurous and in love with me.”
The words Liam said is a direct dialogue tag. It tells the reader without fuss or doubt that Liam said those words inside those quotation marks.
Another method of informing readers of who said what is through an action by the character. This is technically not called a dialogue tag, but it does the same job.
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With only hours left of 2021, Quarter Castle Publishing is wishing everyone a good night filled with cheer or peaceful reflection, whichever you desire. As with every new year’s eve, many are happy to see the old year end and eager to usher in the new.
We are planning an exciting 2022 with new opportunities and new ventures. We’ll announce one tomorrow, so stay tuned.
Until then, bring on the celebrations, and, please, don’t drink and drive.
Author Elizabeth Gilbert has excellent advice for writers who are looking for success and those who have already found it. Her book, Eat, Pray, Love, was a great success, and that left many asking her what was next? Could she write a more successful book, or was this the pinnacle of her career?
As she explains in her Ted Talk, Your elusive creative genius, she had a choice to make. She could say she’d reached the top as an author and enter another profession, or she could experience writing differently.
She chose to re-evaluate her writing career and along the way, she learned the history of the writing genius in the wall.
“The amount of snow was dreadful, but the romance was hot.”
That’s what one beta reader said about this steamy holiday romance that takes place on the East Coast of Canada.
A December Knight is now available in eBook and paperback at Amazon.
Kindle Unlimited members read for free.