Well, she opened her eyes to light, and to a ‘crash’ that came from below. Charlie’s aristocratic voice (even if he was a common rag) gave a, “Tsk” and a “Tough luck, mate.” While Ben huffed and hollered, “Bloody fairies!”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

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Hashtags can be a powerful thing, and making your own can be a lot of fun. Take #LoveBenandCharlie for example. A hashtag created by yours truly to tag moments with two of my favourite characters. Haven’t read the story? Here’s a few scenes I love them in!

#LoveBenAndCharlie = Best Ben and Charlie Moments!

Charlie kept his head in his hands as Ben’s voice travelled from the stall beside him, their rooms side by side. “You lied to her,” Ben said, leaning against the wall, his head down. “That was the first ungentlemanly thing I’ve ever heard you say. You wanted her to stay. You don’t want her to change.”

“Selfishness,” Charlie explained, lifting his head from his hands, blinking his tired eyes, “will undo a gentleman.” He took a steadying breath. “What I want is unnecessary to her. My foolish wishing will only hold her back.”

“Your fooling wishing?”

“That she will stay our Isabel forever.”

Ben inhaled long and easy, his arms flexing with the remembrance of having her fragile body there, wrapped in the shield of them. He spoke softly, Charlie barely able to hear the never-before admitted words. “I have the same foolish wish.”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“Benjamin,” Charlie ordered. His gentlemanly voice only raised enough for them to hear it, effectively making Ben stop and look back at his best friend. “Put her down. This is not gentlemanly conduct.”

Charlie’s expression was considerate but firm while Ben glared, deciding what was best to do. Slowly, he placed Isabel back on her feet, following Charlie’s orders. She staggered back, and Ben moved to steady her. His temper lowered to nothing, but she bolted away from him, rushing to rid herself of the crazed boys she considered her brothers.’

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“Love.” Ben tasted the word, his eyes dropping with the mild discomfort of the sticky word.

“Ben, I know you are a sentimentalist,” Charlie braved such unspeakable words, telling him that he knew his unspeakable secret, and Ben merely rolled his eyes. “But you don’t have to worry,” Charlie promised. “Like always, I’ll keep your secrets.”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“What the hell is going on here?”

“We seem to have found ourselves in a brawl, Benjamin,” Charlie explained as Ben carefully helped him up off the floor, taking a second to gently wipe the blood from his best friend’s face. All the while Charlie watched Ben’s natural rage begin to tempest. “There’s no reason for you to get involved, mate, the bloke’s already outnumbered. Not that you’re going to listen to me anyway.”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“Come now, Benjamin,” Charlie sought to calm him.

As they exited the ring, Mathew silently pointed out to William his attackers, who were waiting outside the arena for him. They would not dare attack with William around. “He’s riding my horse . . .” Ben complained under his breath to Charlie before complaining more fiercely to William.

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“Probably made with an assortment of herbs. I wouldn’t be surprised if you found it insulting when, in his own way, I suppose we could call it considerate. As it is, he made you something that would attract pixies instead of destroying them. I’d take a guess and say he made it even sweeter for you: encouraging whom he considers fairyblooded. Not that I blame him. I’ve been concerned as well. Though, I didn’t expect him to be the one to intervene.”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

Ben watched Charlie tuck the drawing he had of Lilly away in his pocket. “She’s lucky to have found a gentleman like you,” he said, wondering how Charlie had gotten such a thing.

Charlie hesitated and then began to unhook the cart horses since he’d already unsaddled the one he was riding. “I wish I were. She deserves a gentleman: someone who can give her castles and riches, like the heroes in my tales to Isabel. A life with me: her yellow hair loose and dancing behind her as she sits in a grassy field, lambs and foals and butterflies about her as she waits for me to ride home from tournament or war—”

“So we’re knights in this daydream?” Ben cut in, frowning at the way Charlie was speaking.

“Working hard, giving up too much, suffering needless suffering—”

What was he talking about? “You’d never let that happen, Charlie. And she looks like the kind of girl who would hit you if you didn’t let her pull her own weight. Sitting in grassy fields with lambs and foals and butterflies is a thought she’d probably rejoice in.”

“And then what if I’m like him?”


“What if I hit her and beat my son and do everything—”

“You’ve got kids in this dream?” But he knew what he was talking about.

“—a man isn’t supposed to do,” Charlie finished.

What could he say to him? He’d seen him and Lilly under the star filled sky promising things to each other that Ben didn’t need to hear along with promising they’d write each other. He’d been shocked the girl knew how to write, but Charlie wasn’t. Maybe she was a little like their Isabel after all . . . “Could you ever strike Isabel?”

“Excuse me?”

“Do you ever want to just punch her?”

“Of course not.”

“Really? Even when she’s being annoying—”

“Ben, if you—”

“Charlie, Lilly will be your Isabel. Just love her like you love her. Trust yourself a little more. You’re not your father.”


“You don’t have to pretend to be a gentleman.” Ben pulled Goliath’s saddle off and started toward the tack room, hoping that Charlie would no longer think of throwing his Lilly’s picture away. “You are a gentleman.”

Unlike me . . . Ben thought, glancing back at the house where Isabel was surely discussing whatever was hammering down on her shoulders. He didn’t know what she was planning, but he knew that no matter what it was, they’d be there to protect her. She’d never have to worry about that.

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman


What’s Up: Writers and Hashtags

#writing #ilovemylife #awesome

Hashtags? Where do you use them?

You use hashtags on Social Media everything: facebook, Instagram, google+, twitter, pinterest, tumblr, youtube, vine, kickstarter, and anywhere else you can think of. Have a blog? Start hashtaging! Hashtags are keywords beginning with the hash mark on public profiles, used to organize searches or to make posts searchable by the public. Does that make sense? Either way, if someone searches for the hashtag #books, and you’ve used this hashtag, then your post may be the first thing that user ends up seeing.


Hashtag Examples:

Needed by Writers:

#NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month is held every November), #AmReading #AmWriting #AmEditing #AmRevising #IndieAuthor #WriteGoal #WriteMotivation #WritersLIfe #WritersBlock #WroteToday #Storytelling #WhatToRead #MustRead #Books #BookWorm #GreatReads #Wattpad #BookGiveaway #nonfiction #booknerd #worldofanauthor #literature #storytelling #voiceoffiction #fanfiction #Novelines (to quote your own work) #AuthorLife #EditGoal #WroteToday

Advertising a Book Giveaway?

#Free #Freebie #FreeBook #FreeDownload #BookBuzz #BookGiveaway

Genres, Types, and Loves

#poetsofinstagram #flashfiction #Biopic #Book #Comedy #Cookbooks #Recipes #Cooking #Crime #DarkFantasy #Dystopian #Erotica #KidLitChat #FanFic #fanfiction #Fiction #FlashFic #Food #Historical #HistFic #Horror #KidLit #Literature #LitFic #Mystery #NonFiction #Novel #Paperbacks #bookblog #bookreviewer #Paranormal #RomanceWriter #Romance #Romantic #RomanticSuspense #ScienceFiction #SciFi #ShortStories #ShortReads #ShortStory #SteamPunk #Suspense #TrueStories #UrbanFantasy #WomensFiction #YA #youngadultbooks #youngadult #tumblr #instagram #youtube #kickstarter

Fiction Forever 

#zombieapocolypse #weirdosunite #lovehorror #sacrifice #readingforfun #readingissexy #climax #readinglist #frenchkissing #paperbacks #hardcover #princecharming #fairytale #princessandthefrog #princeatheart #bestvillains #fictionisbetter #whygodwhy

Awesome Hashtags

#thebeautyofwords #love #uglylove #truelove #myking #princessatheart #swag #WritingParty #bestbookever #fortheloveofbooks #booksforever #fictionalboyfriend #booksaresoulmates #favouritecharacter #fictionalisthenewblack #fangirlsbelike #fangirls  #fictionalcrush #bookaholic #boysinbooksarejustbetter #yabooks #yareads #youngadult #fangirlproblems #ilovebooks #respect❤ #xoxo #journaltime #nighttimeplanning #writefabulously #randomthoughts

More Than Likely Needed

#goodmorningcoffee #coffeetime #espressolove #latte #coffeeaddict #coffeelover #coffeeholic #smoresfrappuccino #smores #working #ilovemyjob #myjob #ilovecats #girlythings #handmadechocolate #chocolates #icecream #tea #cupcakes #teaholic #teatime #icecreamcakes #plannerobsessed #WeekendReader #Share #writerinterview

Where do you Write?

 #cafe #bathtub #myhome #mysweethome #bedroom #hotel #writingdesk #office #officelife #couch #couchpotato #desk #kitchen #withmycat

Just Awesome

#winteriscoming #harrypotter #animecouples #myprecious #conversationpieces #keepreading #fortheloveoffiction

How to make your own hashtags?

Making your own hashtags is pretty simple. Just think of what you want your hashtag to be, make sure it hasn’t been done before, and start using it. Use it in your public social media profiles, and when others see it, they may be encouraged to use it.

Examples of Newly Made Hashtags

#booksbyelschoeman #elschoeman #IsabelByELSchoeman #ViennaByELSchoeman #elschoemanbooks

Second Person Point of View

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First Person: “I”

Second person: “You”

Third Person: “He” or “She”

I read an article recently on how the second person point of view was an ‘Off with her Head’ thing for a writer. I’d never really thought about it, to be honest. When I write my novels, I generally stick to the third person point of view. And, let’s face it, you don’t want to randomly switch views in the middle of the book, as it may/will destroy the flow of the work, and bump the reader out of the story. The point is to forget you’re reading – to get lost in the words. Switching from person to person doesn’t make that possible.

Although it can be done. It’s not recommended, as it can’t always be pulled off, but it is possible. Just as it is possible to write an entire manuscript in second person. It’s not a horrible thing. It’s just difficult.

You may have even switched from point of view to point of view accidentally. I know I have. When I first started writing, in one chapter I continually switched from first and third person without realizing it. It was a mess to fix, but it helped me figure out which view I was most comfortable writing in. I certainly found where I’m comfortable, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be practicing other forms of writing and technique. Trying new and dangerous things is what art is all about, after all.

Writing Exercise:

Try writing an entire paragraph in second person. Can you do it? Try writing an entire page in the second person point of view.

Youtube and Publishers

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It is unfortunate. Writers are being rejected, not for poor work, but because they don’t have a big enough ‘following.’ How can an author create a following without first being published?

But like everything else, the book publishing industry must evolve. However, it seems to be (kind of/ sort of/ anyone else getting a hinky feeling here?) chopping away at marketing. Instead of figuring out new ways to gain ‘personal’ relationships with fans, they are targeting people who already have that relationship with their fans. Approaching them with book deals, while the approached is none the wiser that the publisher may just be drooling behind closed doors at their following. Is it a matter of ‘I love your blog, let’s work together,’ or ‘I love your channel, let’s work together.’ Or is it more or less, ‘I like your millions of followers. And I’ll do what I have to do to put your name on the cover so I can sell to them.’

It is the newest trend to offer youtubers book deals. Youtubers like Zoe Sugg and Tanya Burr who have admitted that ghostwriters were employed. Zoe Sugg’s Youtube fan base is close to seven million followers.

“YouTube star Zoella, whose real name is Zoe Sugg, famously quit the internet in late 2014 after it emerged that the editorial team at Penguin helped with the writing of her book.” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2901810/Tanya-Burr-latest-YouTube-star-land-book-deal-unlike-Zoella-admitted-ghost-writer.html)

“Vlogger-turned-author Zoella insists she’s not leaving YouTube despite backlash over ghostwritten book.” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2866840/Vlogger-turned-author-Zoella-insists-s-not-leaving-YouTube-despite-backlash-ghostwritten-book.html)

Should youtube stars, bloggers, and anyone else who wants to, write their own book or have one published? Of course they should!

Why is it kick-ass awesome?

Youtube stars landing book deals is a good thing for the industry because these stars are generally young people with a young fan base. They get young people reading, and may even inspire some to start their own youtube channel or begin writing their own novels.

Why else?

Because they could be great reads!

But should they rush into temptation when publishers come knocking? Really, maybe it’s the publishers who should know better. Do they understand fans? In this case, readers? Unquestionably: you don’t do things at their expense. You don’t do things where they are going to feel cheated or exploited. You don’t do things where they are going to feel conned. And you certainly don’t put your authors in situations where they are going to be slandered by their own fans (not fans that the publishers gained for them, but their own fans).

Instead of stating things like, “The factual accuracy of the matter is simply that Zoe Sugg did not write Girl Online on her own.” They should be stating things like, “Every novel takes team effort in editing, designing, and overall creating. The factual accuracy of the matter is that this is Zoe Sugg’s awesome novel and we’re all excited to be a part of it.”

Or, hell, if it really was Ghost Written, the publishers should have put the other writer’s name on the cover as well as Zoe Sugg’s name.

“I absolutely love vlogging, but the comments recently mostly made me sick to my stomach. To the point I couldn’t bare to scroll down and read them in the fear that the top comments would be so mean, whether that was a personal attack on me, or someone else I loved. I’ve never felt this way before, and it’s so disheartening. That once fun, happy place that I uploaded content had all of a sudden turned so evil.” (http://www.zoella.co.uk/2014/11/why-i-stopped-daily-vlogging-hate-on.html)

But I would like to add (I don’t know how many of you have experienced slander, negative comments and such, and how consuming it can be) that Zoe Sugg hasn’t left youtube and you can find her channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gejL03izgc

I think authors everywhere (published or aspiring) can learn from this. Taking away from this, not only to take precautions and protect yourself and your fans, how to rise above negativity and slander, but how to also reach out and get personal with your fans. Writers are being rejected not for poor work, but for poor fan base (although, why settle for 10% of royalties when you can create a book and receive 100% of royalties if you have the fan base is beyond me).

For writers needing to connect and build a fan base, Zoe Sugg’s channel and blog are wonderful places to get inspired. http://www.zoella.co.uk/p/pradvertising.html

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Looking for a Writing Community?

With writing being the solitary path that it is, and bringing about the isolation that it does, being a part of a writing community can be a sanity keeper. It always is, when you find people who understand you. It always is, when you can share your ideas and have honest editorial advice and critiques.

I will warn you this. When joining a writing community it is not enough to post your work and wait for the comments to come rolling in. Like writing a novel, you can’t just put it out there and wait for the money to come rolling in. In a community, you have to get involved. You have to edit, comment, and critique works before people will take notice of yours. Being a part of a community takes time. It takes commitment. Well, of course. All friendships do, and being a part of any community involves nurturing lasting friendships.

Deciding which community (or communities) to join will depend entirely on you. Do you want a fan fiction scene? Do you want to post chapters weekly? Are you looking for a publisher’s notice? Or are you thinking of making your finished work into an eBook?

Writing Communities:

1. http://figment.com/

Read, Write, and Talk

2. www.pottermore.com

Harry Potter fan?

3. www.bookcountry.com

Read, Review, and Publishing Option

4. www.wattpad.com

Read, Write, Share

5. http://www.writerscafe.org/

Online Writing Community

6. http://community.harlequin.com/

Group for Harlequin lovers

7. https://www.authonomy.com/

Join an online community where writers become authors and great books get published.

8. https://fictionpad.com/

Read, Write, and Discuss fanfiction

Some More Awesome:

1. http://nanowrimo.org/

November 1-30 National Novel Writing Month

2. http://labs.triggerstreet.com/

Feedback Exposure and Opportunity

3. http://www.abctales.com/

Read, Write and Discuss

4. http://www.deviantart.com/

A place for artists of every kind

5. www.goodreads.com

Everything books

6. http://bksp.org/

Online writer’s organization

7. https://www.netgalley.com/

“If you’re a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, get a FREE NetGalley account to request and read digital galleys”

8. https://www1.lightningsource.com/default.aspx

Print Publishing Services and then some

Side Note: Writing a book is a mountain of hard work – let’s face it. If you’ve decided you want to publish your novel into an eBook (and your book has been professionally edited and you have a professional designer in mind), check out some of these eBook publishers.

1. http://www.bookbaby.com

2. https://www.createspace.com/

3. http://www.kobo.com/writinglife

4. http://www.lulu.com/create/ebooks

5. https://www.nookpress.com/

6. http://www.booktango.com/

Food Photography

I’m certainly new to food photography, and looking back on some of my past attempts at plate-shots, I could really use some pointers.

I love to cook and I love taking pictures- should be a no-brainer. And yet, food photography isn’t that easy.

My First Lesson: practice, practice, practice.

My Next Lesson: lighting is everything. I’ve been informed to use as much natural light as possible (set up shop by a window on a wonderfully sunny day, and play with an adjustable lamp for extra lighting). Never use the built in camera flash.

Next Lesson: Use a tripod

Next Lesson: Play with camera angles (head on, from above, tilt the camera, close up, get creative).

Next Lesson: Be creative: be aware of the small details: Use props: like napkins, ingredients, cutlery, white china. Keep your theme in mind. I’m doing a Christmas family cookbook, focusing on those aspects: Christmas and family.

Prepare the shot: props and presentation: table cloth, ornaments, Christmas tree, candies, bows, presents, and such. Set the scene and create an atmosphere

Next of Many Lessons to Come: Learn more: study, stroll through a bookstore and check out photography books; find pictures you like and figure out why you like them- what makes them good? Practice more. And then comes the editing process…


Ellen Schoeman (pen name E. L. Schoeman) is the author of the award winning YA novel, Isabel. All in all I’m a YA writer. Check me out on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/elschoeman

Creating a Cookbook

Julia Child was rejected by almost every publishing house because Mastering the Art of French Cooking wasn’t considered a salable book. Later in life, another of her books was turned down, which became a huge success as well. The folks who wrote The Silver Palate Cookbook came up with the idea over drinks at home one night and had no idea what they were doing. But they took a risk, worked hard, and it paid off: They got the book they wanted, it met with great success, and the rest – as they say – is history.’ (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/07/writing-your-ow/)

Creating a Cookbook

In my last entry, I mentioned that creating a cookbook or gathering a collection of recipes would be a good idea for a Christmas gift. I decided I’m going to make a cookbook dedicated to my family in time for next Christmas. For those family members who read my blog, whoops, the surprise is ruined. But I think a POD cookbook (and hopefully hardcover) would (hopefully) be a beloved gift.

But here’s the thing. I’ve never made a cookbook before!

For this book, I’m not planning on landing an agent or publisher. It’s something I want to create for myself and my family- not something I’m looking to make an income or living off of. If a buyer is interested in the book, that’s awesome, but I’m not about to spend thousands on marketing.

‘Included in the proposal should be extensive samples of content, the tables of contents, recipe list and sample recipes if applicable, as well as a winning biography of you. And very importantly, a plan for how the book will sell once it’s published. Including as much as possible in there is a good idea, perhaps a sample chapter or two.’ (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/07/writing-your-ow/)

Since I don’t need to focus on how this book is going to sell, I can take the pressure off myself and just have fun with making it!

Things My Family Cookbook is going to Need:

-Title of cookbook:

(Schoeman Family



-Fetching book cover and back cover

-collection of favourite holiday recipes

-Decide between colour or black and white photos

-Table of Contents and Recipe Index

-Readable fonts and sizes for a workable, hands on cookbook

“Designing a recipe collection makes you realize just how much work goes into a professional cookbook: the balance of recipes, the writing and, most of all, the luscious photography.” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/09/AR2008120900646.html)

If I were going to start creating cookbooks for a living, a piece of advice that was given to me was to start the blog first. Spend a year or two blogging about food, finding your passion or niche, and establish an audience.

Also for a POD cookbook, I’m going to need a selection of POD companies

  1. http://www.blurb.ca/cookbooks
  2. www.createspace.com
  3. https://www1.ingramspark.com/
  4. http://www.bookemon.com/
  5. www.lulu.com
  6. http://www.tastebook.com/cookbook_studio

And Different Ways to Make the Cookbook Special

-Family Signatures

-Family tree

-Family Photos (grandparents when young, sisters when infants, marriage pictures and such) (In this case, Christmas photos)



-Illustrations instead of photos

-Food Facts or Cooking Facts

“Community cookbooks are very popular for a reason – people love to eat and personal recipes evoke memories and traditions.” (http://www.morriscookbooks.com/dc/shared/MGuide.pdf)

If this cookbook goes well, I’m thinking of doing a Memory Cookbook for my grandmother. She passed this winter. I think a collection of photos of her when she was a young woman, stories I know about her, and gathered recipes would be treasured gift for her remaining family.

“Things to avoid if you are self publishing:

Bulleted lists do not always convert easily into publishing programs.

Fancy fonts may be pretty, but are difficult for the reader.

Make sure the title can be read from 5 to 10 feet away.”