Star Spangled Banner, Madison Rising – Today’s Video Pick

Okay, this Star Spangled Banner cover by Madison Rising video is cool. Just had to share. Go, America!

Bald eagle above a friend's cabin on Coeur d'Alene Lake in Idaho.

Bald eagle above a friend’s cabin on Coeur d’Alene Lake in Idaho. @2007 ANVidean

Why not share a cool patriotic video with us in the comments…

#6 Writing Tip: Authors and readers profit from free book downloads

Authors and e-book readers, do you use Kindle Select (KS) and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL)?

“Why would I,” you ask?

Two compelling reasons.

  • Readers receive free e-book borrows.
  • Authors gain enhanced visibility and potential sales.

Here’s how it works:

Readers, if you are an Amazon Prime member you can borrow from a collection of more than 180,000 books in the KOLL. Besides my own novel, Rhythms & Muse [big cheesy grin], the library includes 100-plus current and former New York Times best sellers — to read for free — as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.

Watch this price drop to zero tomorrow for Amazon Prime members who want to borrow my book.

Watch this price drop to zero this weekend for Amazon Prime members who want to borrow my book.

Authors, simply give exclusive rights to Kindle for 90 days, enroll your titles, and promote free downloads to gain visibility. The best part, though, is you actually earn a share of the multimillion-dollar KDP Select Global Fund every time your book is borrowed from the KOLL on Amazon.

I’ve had several authors tell me their books get borrowed thousands of times over a couple of days through this program, and they can sell one book for every three borrowed. In the first Valentine’s Day 2012 promo I did the last weekend of January 2013, 994 readers downloaded Rhythms & Muse. [I’ll report later what happens, sales-wise.] Looks like we have everything to gain here, especially happy readers.

Authors… Readers… What are you waiting for?

If you have had an exceptional experience using KS or KOLL, the rest of us would like to hear about it in the comments below.


P.S. Readers, in the spirit of letting you take advantage of this truly cool offering right away, I’ve scheduled my own KS promos. [Put this in the realm of “well-how-the-heck-will-you-know-about-it-if-I-don’t-tell-you” shameless promotion.] Yep, you can borrow my women’s fiction e-book this weekend — Fri., Feb. 1 through Sun., Feb. 3, 2013 — by searching for Rhythms & Muse at the KOLL.

Rhythms & Muse synopsis:

Alex, a Grammy-winning vocalist, lives the glamorous lifestyle, but hates it. Her dreams guide her life, but she doesn’t listen until one actually manifests. Will intuition, flashbacks to her 1970s high-school days in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and an ambitious current-day plan to reconnect with her former music partner and muse, help her find fulfillment?

Amazon review:

“Ann…has a gift for setting the scene and characters so that you feel like you have visited these places, and know these people in her book. I particularly liked the shift back and forth in time during the book — it reminds us that whichever paths we take in our lives, we are still the same person within. This book brought back memories of high school.”

Burger phenom: Hudson’s Hamburgers

Bob, Codi and Cutter help occupy the 23 counter stools available at Hudson’s. ©2011 ANVidean

One special Coeur d’Alene memory I somehow neglected to work into my Rhythms & Muse novel (half of the story takes place in the Idaho town) is Hudson’s Hamburgers. The joint is known worldwide for serving up – for the past 100 years! – a limited menu of simple, fresh, delectable burgers in a storefront on Sherman Ave., the town’s short main street!

I happened to grow up right next door to the Hudson family in the Fairway Hills neighborhood. Patriarch Roger was the fry cook in my day, but his sons Steve and Todd were in training on weekends. Now, they run the place.

I have very fond memories of conversations with the Hudson boys while sitting at their counter. How many times I watched them form my burger, grill it up on that savory grill, slap on the cheese, rapidly slice up thin slices of onion and pickle to place on the grill-toasted bun. The best part about a Huddy burger is the hot mustard and/or special sauce you squirt on yourself once the server plops your small plate in front of you. My mouth is watering right now, just thinking about the juicy goodness of that first bite.

It’s not a true trip to Coeur d’Alene without standing in line at least one, or two, or three times, at Hudson’s to enjoy a perfect “cheese, both” (i.e. cheeseburger with both onion and pickle). If you’re ever there in Cd’A, do not miss it. Any wait is totally worth it!

Check out this a great little historical PBS video about the local institution,  providing a number of fun facts, plus interviews with Roger and Todd.


Rhythms & Muse novel and music CD:

Dare! Find a small-town main street offering more than Coeur d’Alene’s.

While my family visited Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we spent quite a it of time in Downtown Coeur d’Alene, the lively little town which sets the scene for more than half of my Rhythms & Muse novel.

In addition to its most beautiful City Beach at the west end of downtown, Cd’A’s seven-block main street, aka Sherman Ave., offers a plethora of great experiences:

  • Hudson’s Hamburgers, with it’s 100-year legacy, is a destination for the most delicious, juicy burgers worldwide!
    (I very much regret I couldn’t find a good way to include Hudson’s iin Rhythms & Muse. Those burgers are one of my favorite reasons for visiting Cd’A. A point of interest: the Hudson family, including current proprietors Steve and Todd, lived next to my family in Fairway Hills the entire time I lived up there.)
  • Calypsos Coffee & Creamery, a great coffee venue right off Sherman on Lakeside Ave., where I held my book signing.
  • A number of charming retail shops, including:

    Looking west down Sherman Ave. from 5th St.(?) ©2011 ANVidean

    • Gallery Northwest, filled with lovely unique artwork crafted by local artists
    • Summers Glass gorgeous dichroic glass jewelry and art, beads, and more
    • Possibilities wine and gift-basket shop
    • Coeur d’Alene Chocolates, a family-owned shop with the most beautifully delicious treats I’ve ever seen.

      The sandy City Beach at the west end of Sherman Ave. offers a pristine view of the towering Coeur d’Alene Resort, and Tubbs Hill. ©2011 ANVidean

  • The Coeur d’Alene Resort, a lovely destination towering over the north end of Lake Cd’A right at the foot of downtown, with a  marina and one of the largest boardwalks in the world. It’s connected via skywalk to an indoor shopping mall featuring mid-to-high-end restaurants and shops.

I’ll be doing future posts to provide additional details on some of these distinctive hot spots, so watch the blog.

Do you have a Cd’A story or photo to share? Comment below, or send your .jpg image to me at and I’ll post it in the future.


Rhythms & Muse novel and music CD:

Coeur d’Alene Trivia from Rhythms & Muse, part 3

We’re nearing the date of my Rhythms & Muse novel and music CD signing at Calypsos Coffee & Creamery, 116 E. Lakeside Ave. in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. (4–7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011). Excited! I’m so looking forward to seeing plenty of my friends there…including you?

Just for fun, these trivia questions are based on places and activities in Cd’A, and Spokane, Wash., especially during the 1970s. All the items are mentioned in the book. Do you know the area? How many answers can you get correct?

Cd’A Trivia Questions, part 3

15. What’s the name of the marina surrounded by one of the world’s longest floating boardwalks and with easy access from The Coeur d’Alene Resort?

16. How wide and long is the Coeur d’Alene Boardwalk?

17. When did the Cd’A Resort open?

18. Although the Lake City is now northern Idaho’s center for healthcare, educational, media, manufacturing, retail and recreation, the three main industries in the mid-1900s were…

19. Are there really cougars near Cd’A Lake?

20. Fireworks are set off over Cd’A Lake from a barge. Is the rumor that the barge catches on fire every year actually true?

21. What 23-mile-long improved path stretches in either direction from the City Park?

Answers in comments below.

See Spokane Trivia.


You can find these and more Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Spokane, Wash., references in my Rhythms & Muse novel and music CD:

Coeur d’Alene Trivia from Rhythms & Muse, part 2

The back cover of Rhythms & Muse features a Lake Cd’A photo taken by the author. ©2005 ANVidean

A significant portion of my Rhythms & Muse women’s fiction novel takes place in 1970s Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Spokane Wash., so it seemed natural to create a trivia blog entry or two about some of the places and activities mentioned in the book. Do you know the area? How many answers can you get correct?

Cd’A Trivia Questions, part 2

8. THE 1970s local hangout after ball games and music concerts was a wooden structure with tall slanted windows, just around the corner from downtown Coeur d’Alene. Do you recall its name?

9. The sledding scene in the novel was inspired by a favorite hill just up from where the author used to live off the Cd’A public golf course. What’s the name of this neighborhood?

10. Student musicians would travel to this city, home of the University of Idaho, to compete in “State” where judges rated their talent/skills.

11. You’ll probably need to have been friends with the author to know this one, but what color and make was the family car Ann drove during high school?

12. What is the name of the 17-acre public park named located just west of downtown Cd’A?

13. You can go for a 2.2 mile hike right from downtown Coeur d’Alene in a 164-acre urban wilderness area. Named for a German immigrant who was Coeur d’Alene’s first Justice of the Peace, this area is called…?

14. Hundreds of bird species are found in Northern Idaho, including majestic bald eagles. What other bird-of-prey, known for building nests on top of lake pilings, is prevalent in Cd’A?

Answers in comments below.

More Cd’A trivia (part 3).


You can find these and more Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Spokane, Wash., references in my Rhythms & Muse novel and music CD:

Rhythms & Muse book signing in Coeur d’Alene, ID

The back cover of Rhythms & Muse features a Lake Cd’A photo I took in 2005.

I’m so excited to return to Coeur d’Alene in August for a signing of my Rhythms & Muse novel and music CD at Calypsos Coffee & Creamery, 116 E. Lakeside Ave. from 4–7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011.


I spent my high school years in Coeur d’Alene, and plenty of time in Spokane, Wash., which inspired the 1970s flashback scenes in the novel. Anyone who’s been around those towns for a while will recognize a number of the places mentioned in the book. Readers can find a sneak peek in my Cd’A Trivia blog entry, too.

For those who don’t know, Rhythms & Muse is a make-dreams-come-true story about a Grammy-award-winning female vocalist, Alexandra Lauren, who is living the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle and hating it. Dreams are guiding her, but she ignores them until one comes true in real life. Her dreams, and flashbacks to her senior year in high school, lead Alex to listen to her intuitions and return to Cd’A. Searching for true fulfillment, she works an elaborate scheme to try to reconcile with her former music partner and first love, Matt Roberts, and to regain the balance she’s lost in her life.

As I was writing the story of these musical characters, I also decided to create original music to accompany the book, using the music and lyrics my characters “composed.” On the Rhythms & Muse CD, I sing all five songs, and also contribute select piano and guitar accompaniment.

Did you know I…

  • Always wanted to write a novel and create music, so publishing Rhythms & Muse this year fulfilled two of my main life goals in tandem.
  • Graduated from Cd’A high school and left Idaho to attend Arizona State University.
  • Graduated cum laude in Broadcast Journalism from ASU.
  • Worked in corporate and agency public relations until starting my own marketing consulting firm in 1996.
  • Was honored by a panel of national judges honored with a Crown Jewel Award for my firm vIDEAn Unlimited, LLC (i.e. the top U.S. home-based business in 2005).
  • Specialize in developing business tribes using word-of-mouth marketing strategy.
  • Am an award-winning writer and editor.
  • Offer a bunch of interesting and valuable information on my Web site (, business-tribe blog (, and novel blog (

Did you know Calypsos Coffee & Creamery…

  • Is Coeur d’Alene’s Casual Coffee House
  • Was established by local-area natives, the Jenicek family, in 2008.
  • They decided to open Calypsos to share their love of coffee and to be involved with the downtown business district and its people.
  • Serves quality coffee, roasted onsite, in a captivating and comfortable atmosphere.
  • Is located one block from the Cd’A Resort, the Chamber of Commerce and the City Beach.
  • Great menu and services are detailed at

I can’t wait to get back to Coeur d’Alene to share Rhythms & Muse with my friends there.

– Ann

Cultural trivia from Rhythms & Muse, part 4

Here are the last trivia questions based on cultural references from my Rhythms & Muse novel. See how many you know.

Trivia Questions

22. What 1927 prose by Max Ehrmann ends with, “Be cheerful. Strive to be happy?”

23. What daily newspaper was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008?

24. What museum with three locations in greater Los Angeles exhibits primarily American and European contemporary art created since 1940?

25. What Revlon fragrance personified the independent woman of the 1970s, and was the first perfume ad to feature a woman wearing pants?

26. What American singer, songwriter, and pianist wrote more than two dozen chart hits for numerous artists during the 1960s, many of which have become standards? Hint: She had a recurring role as a music-store owner in the 1990s’ Gilmore Girls TV series.

27. What Apple product, according to PC World has “altered the landscape for portable audio players?”

28. One of the most popular American singers of the 20th century, this cultural icon is often referred to as “The King.”

Answers in comments below.

You can find these and more cultural references in my Rhythms & Musenovel and music CD:

Cultural trivia from Rhythms & Muse, part 3

Here are the next few trivia questions based on cultural references from my Rhythms & Muse novel. How many can you answer correctly?

Trivia Questions

15. What classic play and movie features a Dr. Doolittle who did not work with animals?

16. What musical variety show had the same host, Dick Clark, from 1957 until its final season in 1989?

17. What Robert Crumb iconic pop culture image of optimism in the 1970s featured an amblin’, big-nosed, suit-wearing guy?

18. What slogan used by the American counterculture movement during the early 1970s was a symbol of passive resistance and nonviolent ideology?

19. What television show, which aired its final episode in May 2011, showcases the life of a superhero as a young boy growing up in rural Kansas?

20.What weekly American magazine, published by Time Inc., covers celebrity and human-interest stories?

21. What Mac-based software allows users to create music or podcasts?

Answers below in comments.

You can find these and more cultural references in my Rhythms & Musenovel and music CD:

Cultural trivia from Rhythms & Muse, part 2

Can you answer a few more trivia questions, all based on cultural references from my Rhythms & Muse novel?  :D

Trivia Questions

8. What Disney movie featured two bumbling dog-sitters?

9.  What fictional character is the “Fairest in the Land?”

10. What 1970s slogan, now recognized worldwide, uses a symbol as its second word?

11. What 1970s show featured famous actors vacationing under the social direction of “Julie McCoy?”

12. What recognizable 1967 superhero cartoon-show theme song used in a 2002 film and then rerecorded by Michael Bublé for the 2004 sequel?

13. What tissue-worthy 1970s movie featured a poignant romance split by the characters’ political views and convictions?

14. In what 1970s movie is a sinister truth behind the all-too-perfect behavior of the female residents?

Answers below in comments.

You can find these and more cultural references in my Rhythms & Muse novel and music CD: