My thinking board
My thoughts about this and that...
Believe me, book reviews are important
Books need reviews and not just because good reviews boost the author's ego (which really does) but because reviews are an essential part of book marketing.
Without reviews a book gets lost in the thousands of other books released every month.
With lots of reviews the books can stay in the spotlight and readers can find them.
Reviews on Amazon can be up-voted and down-voted by just clicking a button. At the bottom of all reviews, you will see “Was the review helpful to you?” and yes/no buttons.
If you like a book, but you don’t want to write a review, then you can up-vote positive reviews that you agree with. This gives these reviews more presence and makes them “worth” more to the Amazon algorithm.
Likewise, if someone has left a bad review on a book you like, you can down-vote that review so it doesn’t have as much of an impact.
Would you like to help to keep my books in the spotlight?
Click on my books below. If you like any of my books and buy-read-review them, it would be fantastic!
If you're not interested in the genres I write, you can still help by upvoting the reviews you like.
Thank you so much for your help!
Epic fantasy English & Spanish
Romantic suspense - health related books
Children's book for ages 2-17
Grammar mistakes and spelling errors
Pointing out other people's grammar mistakes and spelling errors has turned into a favorite internet pastime.
From blog posts to emails, news articles and tweets, if there's an error in there, someone's going to comment on it.
Can you blame people to feel a certain sense of pride when they find a typo or spelling error? Honestly? It does make me feel good when I spot spelling errors or typos in famous, bestselling books.
But here's the thing: grammatical errors don't necessarily mean the author of the post, article, or book didn't know better. I constantly make a mistake writing "taht" instead of "that" especially when I'm texting.
The fact is that our brains are wired in a way that makes us all susceptible to grammar slip-ups.
Just think about it for a second. Even the fiercest Grammar Police person and the bestest editor makes mistakes, I've seen it many time.
Common grammatical errors such a "their" instead of "there" or "your" instead of "you're" and so on doesn't always happen because people don't know which word is correct (well, some people don't but most of us do). It happens because we focus on the content more than on the correct spelling of each and every word.
Did this make you feel better? Good!
Now spot the mistake in this GIF and comment on my post.
Storybook for children 4-12
A little girl teaches her family and her friends how to relate to someone who is hearing impaired.
When Grandma Rosa lost her hearing, Sandra and her parents became frustrated and sad. They didn’t know what to do and how to learn to communicate better with Grandma Rosa.
They tried shouting, changing the tone of their voices or leaning closer to her ear when they talked, to no avail. Rosa could hear some sounds clearly, but certain sounds she couldn’t hear well.
It became an everyday struggle for the family, and they missed the comforting family conversations at dinner time.
Sandra finds a website for hearing impaired people that explains how deaf people communicate. They start learning sign language and to “talk” with their fingers. Sandra and Grandma Rosa find realize that with compassion, love, and hard work, they can overcome the obstacles of disability.
English & Spanish
The antagonist that drives the story forward
When authors promote their books, they usually introduce the protagonists (the good guys) in their book descriptions or excerpts.
But without well-written antagonists the the stories would be flat and the protagonists have nothing to fight against.
The antagonists (the bad guys) in books, the ones we love to hate, drive the plot by setting up conflicts, obstacles, and challenges for the protagonist.
Antagonists are present in any genre books.
GBBPub published a magazine that introduces the antagonists in various genre books.
read about my "bad guys" in the magazine:
Antagonists in my books
I coauthored this fun, Golden Book Award Winner heroic fantasy for children 8-17
book with Joe Bonadonna.
The evil characters of the story
Bookmark this PAGE and read about them in the upcoming magazine,
or click on the links and read free pages form the book:
My epic fantasy series
Bookmark this PAGE and read about her in the upcoming magazine
Travel with Ilona from the time her people were nomads, to the castles of the 14th century, to present day, as she struggles to overcome the obstacles placed in her path.
“This is so different from the usual fare churned out by ordinary writers.” -Valerie Byron
“The characters felt real, and the secrets are alluring. You will get hooked in right away.” -Brenda Barry
“Szabo introduces readers to a fascinating world of ancient rights conducted by a secret order.” -J.E. Rogers
Don't judge people by their appearance!
Our bodies are merely shells.
See the person inside.
"His whole life was music, and love for the people of Hawaii". He had spent much of his life fighting obesity and a respiratory disorder along with other related diseases.
"People freak out when they see me for the first time," he said.
And when you look beyond his appearance, you see the funny, compassionate, strong person who is an inspiration to millions.
Hawking had a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neuron disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis "ALS" or Lou Gehrig's disease) that gradually paralyzed him over the decades. Even after the loss of his speech, he was still able to communicate through a speech-generating device, initially through use of a hand-held switch, and eventually by using a single cheek muscle.
In this video, János Kóti, a nine-years-old blind and handicapped boy sings a Hungarian folk song in a crystal clear voice. The elite group of Hungarian musicians joined and made this concert possible in the Hungarian National Museum in 2015.
His purpose in life?
Simply to bring pure joy to people's heart.
I'm having one of THOSE Monday mornings
I did some dusting this morning and decided to get it over with faster by using the the brush vacuum instead of the fluffy duster.
I knocked over my my favorite ceramic statuette on the mantel and a sliver broke off on the back of the statue.
So, I quickly got the crazy glue and glued the broken piece back on.
Everything went well, I held the broken piece with a small rubber eraser until the glue set, but then when I was putting the statue back on the mantel, I noticed that I glued my thumb to the front of the statue.
I have no clue how I got the glue on my thumb, but there I was, not able to put the statue down, and then I broke out in laughter...
When I realized where my thumb was
So, I quickly Googled how to remove instant glue.
One site recommended nail polish remover, but I never paint my nails and don't have acetone in the house, so I search further.
Another site recommended soaking the finger in soapy water and vinegar.
I did, but it took about ten minutes to soften the glue enough so I could release the statue.
The lesson of this Monday morning stupidity, add acetone to the shopping list.
How's your Monday morning going?
The stone age beliefs about men & women
I heard these from some of the neanderthals who still walk among us:
"Women are inferior to men because Eve was made from Adam's ribs, therefore, she belongs to him. Eve doomed humanity by committing a sin which by enticing Adam to eat the apple."
"A woman's brain is incapable of making rational decisions because she can't comprehend to the big picture."
"A woman should focus on raising kids, doing laundry, obey their husbands, and provide clean and comfortable homes for their families."
"We must keep women submissive because with equal rights comes chaos. They need constant reminders that their place is in the home."
"Women don't have the intelligence to make rational decisions because they're too emotional. Men must make decisions for women."
Right! My opinion?
These neanderthals need to hide under their comfy stones and be very quiet!
What say you?
I heard these as well
Man with most likely a single digit IQ to woman, "You don't have the balls."
The woman says, "I do, two of them. They're called ovaries."
The man says, "But I can make babies with my balls."
The woman replies, "Without my balls, your balls can't make babies. It's called partnership. My balls make the egg and your balls fertilize it."
"Um... but my balls are more important. Without my sperm you can't make babies."
"True," the woman replies. "But if you keep wearing tight pants, keep your laptop close to your balls, carry your cellphone on your belt and eat junk-food all the time, your balls will shrink or explode and there will be no babies at all."
A salesman calls trying to sell windows. The woman say politely, "Thank you for your call but we're not planning to install new wind..."
The aggressive salesman rudely cuts her off and says, "Is the man of the house home?"
The woman's blood instantly boils but because she's a gentle person, she doesn't reply and hands the phone to her husband,"This bozo is selling windows and wants to talk to you."
The husband takes the phone and says to the salesman, "Listen! My wife is the financial genius in this house. She said no. Good bye!"
A man visits a couple for the first time and as soon as he's introduced to the attractive wife by the husband, he walks up to her attempting to pinch her face and says, "Aren't you a pretty thing!"
The couple's teenage kids watch the interaction.
The woman takes a step back and shouts, "Out! Don't you ever step into this house again!"
The man looks at the husband who opens the door and says to him, "My wife is my partner and you've disrespected her. get out, or I'll throw you out!"
We're getting there
Slowly, but with good parenting and setting good examples to our kids, we're getting there.
Father and son sitting on a bench in the park. The boy is around twelve, happily licking his ice-cream.
A statuesque woman walks by and the father says to his son, "Nice piece of ass, huh?"
The boy looks at his father with a disgusted expression on his face and replies, "Dad, she's a person. You're an ass!"
It's about time to teach our sons and daughter that this is not a competition. Neither men or women need to prove who's better, smarter, or stronger.
Biologically and psychologically men and women have similarities and differences as well. The best thing about this is that we complement each other and able to form a great partnership by mutually accepting and respecting each other.
What is your opinion?
The imagination of a writer is limitless.
I love to play with pictures in Photoshop and today as I was cropping cat pictures for illustration, a silly idea popped into my mind.
What would cats think or say if I'd read them my books?
Who says cats don't love stories?
I went with the idea and played a little with pictures, and I imagined what cats would say about my children's stories and romantic, historical fiction novels.
I hope you will enjoy the cats' stories told in pictures as well as my books.
Creepy Hollow Adventures: heroic fantasy for kids 8-17
Pepper loves the fun story, but Monty gets a little scared, and as usual, he hides his fear behind brave words. He doesn't like Evila, the evil witch, but he laughs when I read about Sparky, the little dragon, and Champ, the young, clumsy horse.
"I’m unable to do justice to the wealth of detail and action Szabo and Bonadonna managed to pack into this book."
"Szabo and Bonadonna make a great pair. Their Creepy Hollow Adventures is a perfect starting point for young children making the leap from "kids' books" to "novels."
~S E Lindberg
Pico, the Pesky Parrot: bilingual storybook for kids 4-12
Peeps is, as always, thinking about food, but softy Cameow gives him an angry look and sheds a few tears when Pico gets frustrated. Whiskers? He prefers to nap, as usual.
"As a bilingual teacher, I am excited about sharing this book with my students and think it would make a wonderful addition to all school libraries. 5 stars for Pico the Bilingual Parrot!" ~Janet Balletta
"As a former ESL teacher, I was impressed by author Erika M Szabo’s bilingual story about a pesky parrot and wondered why books like this one (written in both English and Spanish at many reading levels and interest ranges) were not available when I was teaching." ~Bette A. Stevens
Look, I Can Talk With My Fingers: storybook for kids 4-12
Chip, the talkative twin, well, he talks too much. Mittens, who is always annoyed by Chips' blabbermouth, listens intently and loves the idea that if they'd learn sign language, Chip would be finally quiet.
“I love this little book that teaches children and adults about the difficulties people of all ages face with the loss of hearing. In this book Erika shows us a fun and exciting way to communicate with the hearing impaired.” ~Cathy Collar
Who Stole Terry's Music Box?: storybook for kids 4-10
More cats gather to listen to this story. Wigglebutt, who always looks like she's ready to pounce, favors Oliver, the hedgehog, and Ginger's favorite is the cute dog, Pansy. Oreo doesn't really like dogs since the neighbor's Sheppard chased him up a pine tree, and Boss doesn't like stories about dogs.
"What a great story. I read this book to my niece she is two years old. She would not let me put it down until I read the whole book to her. Ellie loved the illustrations and so did I. I give this book 5 stars." ~R. Robbins
Terry and the Number Fairy: picture book for kids 2-8
Oreo is very protective of his toys and he has a hunch that Hunter has been stealing some of them.
Terry is struggling to learn numbers. Pansy, Terry’s dog, and Pansy’s best friend, Oliver, the hedgehog, want to help but they don’t know how. When Terry wakes up in the morning, she tells her mother that the fairy showed her the numbers in her dream.
Metoo, the Annoying Little Sister
Boss is gentle and loves every living creature. He often saves birds, chipmunks, and squirrels when he catches Hunter in of of his many hunting moods. Hunter backs off because he knows how strong Boss is, and his crooked tail is a proof that Boss not kidding.
Penny always wants to do what her big brother does. She imitates his every move and constantly tweets, “Me, too.” Spike is angry at his sister and threatens to name her Metoo, but when the two young chickens face danger, Spike realizes how important family is and happy to have a sometimes annoying, but loving and brave little sister.
A Basketful of Kittens: storybook for kids 4-12
As soon as the Kitty Bunch found out that the next story is about kittens, everyone showed up to listen to the story.
When Bianca, Daniel, and Peanut, the St. Bernard, are confronted by Mark and his cronies, the BFFs stand up to the brute bullies with the help of Peanut. Their adventure continues when they see a woman throwing four tiny, meowing kittens into the river. Can the BFFs save them? Find out what happens to the kittens.
Cursed Bloodline: romantic, historical suspense novella
This romantic suspense story didn't interest the bunch, only the romantic, softy Oreo stayed. He's in love, and quite often actually. I think Romeo would be a more befitting name for him.
Dark family secrets separated Emily and Daniel when they were teenagers, but fate brought them together. Jayden, Emily’s brother, finds a book that was written in 426 by a shaman. Reading the ancient runes, they learn about their family's curse. If it remains unbroken, the curse will bring tragedy and ruin their lives as it destroyed many of their ancestors' lives for centuries.
Protected by the Falcon: romantic historical fantasy
This article says, " Readers would be able to connect to the character and imagine themselves playing the role."
Okay, I'm game, let's see how it would work with my fantasy book.
This is part of my romantic, historical fantasy novelette, Cursed Bloodline:
So, if I try to replace every gender specific word with word that doesn't refer to gender, what is this short excerpt would be like?
According to the article, "Most of the time, children's books feature characters that are genderless."
Hm... let's see how it would work with a story that I wrote with my coauthor, Joe Bonadonna for kids 8-17, the Creepy Hollow Adventures.
About Free Books
Animals Always Find Me
Bigger Is Not Always Better
Book Promo Fees Gone Too High
Cats Love Stories Too!
CHILDREN LEARN HATE AND INTOLERANCE FROM US
Emotional Stages Of Becoming A Writer
Every Life Is Precious
Everyone Gets Paid From Book Sales- Except The Author
Favorite Internet Pastime
Fundraiser For Animals
Genderless Characters In Books?
Good Old Fashioned Romance
Holiday Book Sale
Inferior Or Equal?
Is The Lovely Shade Of Romance Turning Dark?
I Would Love To Have A Shiny Sticker On My Resume!
I Write Children's Books Because...
Let's Expose And Stop Book Pirates Together
My Green Thumb
My Rant About Book Pirates And Their Supporters
Raise Some Paws
Read For Animals
READING IS GOOD
Self-publishing Made Too Easy
Share Some Book Tweets On Tuesdays
Sharing & Linking Frenzy
Spooky Story For Children
STUCK AT 31
The Bad Guys In Books
The Danger Of A Quiet Simile
The New Kind Of Book Hoarder
There Is So Much More To Communication Than Just Speaking
Those Dreaded Negative Reviews
Vanishing Book Reviews
WANNA SEE? CLICK!
WHERE DO YOU SELL YOUR BOOKS?
Who Are You Jared?
Why Should I Write Book Reviews?
Write A Book They Said
You Make A Hungarian Flinch When...