Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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      It’s been such a crazy-busy, crazy-fun week that I almost missed a week of A-Z! But never fear, the letter C is here.C as in chicken and waffles, Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles to be exact.My daughter turned eleven this week, and to celebrate we spent a couple days in Atlanta with her Mamaw doing girlie stuff, like eating yummy food (because only girls […]
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      Back Cover Blurb:Mallory’s search for happiness leads her to a faraway place. There she finds heartache, betrayal--and danger.  Can the only man she’s ever loved rescue her before it’s too late?Mallory Hammond is determined not to let her boyfriend, parents, or anyone else get in the way of her #1 goal--to save a life.  She had that chance when she was a tee […]
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    • September New Releases Clash
      Welcome to the September clash!!Five new books for your bookshelf this month! From suspense to humor, these books are the newest addition to CBA. Which one lands at the top of your to-be-read pile? Based on what you see below, please choose the book that grabs you--the one you'd read first. Cast your vote below and help bring one book to the top of the […]
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    • BOOK REVIEW: THE BECKONING BY MICHAEL MINOT
      Michael Minot, a lawyer, is a former atheist who now follows Christ. The Beckoning is not only his story regarding how his beliefs changed but an orderly and methodical account of how the methods he applied to find authentication and proof of God’s validity as he conducted research of the scriptures.While still single, Minot was challenged by a Christian fri […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Archive for the ‘Encouragment’ Category

Off Into the Sunset

Posted by Lisa Lickel on December 19, 2012

It’s my last post here at Reflections in Hindsight…a good time to Reflect.

Since we started this blog back in May of 2010  we’ve had roughly 850-some posts, 65+ thousand page views, fourteen contributors that have come and gone and lots of guests. The most popular contributor still is Ben Ehrlichman, who left a while back. Shows you what great headlines do for posts…and fun, thoughtful posts. The obituary of Mr. Squirrel is still a favorite of mine.

Our most popular post was one this past fall; an author visit by Carmen Peone outswamped all our former stats for a visit. Elaine’s insightful shares on her colonial research have been very popular and helpful.

The top search words this morning at 8 am:

Search Views
james bond 2
colonial school 2
books pen 2
lutherd samson 1
sorcerer’s apprentice mickey mouse 1
moving animations someone on the phone 1
elisha bible 1
ingredient card 1
kleenex 1
Other search terms 4

We offered hundreds of book reviews, a lot of marketing advice gleaned mostly from the best of the ‘net; enjoyed a lot of promotions with new friends and old.

Most of all, we’ve tried to encourage you, the readers and authors out there who want to see something positive on the Internet. It’s been fun and a challenge for me, but it’s time to move on. Thank you! Merry Christmas and many blessings in the New Year.

Posted in Authors, Encouragment, Friendship | Comments Off

Joy In The Mourning

Posted by elainemcooper on December 14, 2012

(I wrote this for our church’s Advent book of Devotions, with the focus on “Joy”)

Posted by Elaine Marie Cooper

Christmas Joy - Christmas Wallpaper

There is a section of Psalm 30, verse 5 that reads, “… weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (KJV)

Well, the morning of October 20, 2003, there was much weeping as I sat by my dying daughter’s bedside, but there was little joy in my heart. And as she took her last breath, the weeping continued despite that fact that it was dawn.

So where was my joy? Our family had endured the heartache of her illness for nearly two years, praying for healing, hoping against hope that the brain tumor would leave my daughter’s body. Instead, it took her life. I doubted that I would ever feel joy again.

Following her death, I mostly felt numb. There were times when I was angry, times when I shouted at God or others. I understood in my head that my daughter’s life was in His hands—after all, He was her Creator—but my heart rebelled against the loss.

On my drive home from work months later, crying the whole way, I yelled at God. “This is just too hard!” I did not hear an audible voice, but it might as well have been. The voice of the Holy Spirit enveloped my heart and soul with His message to me: “My grace is sufficient for you.”

I felt as if a spiritual two-by-four had hit me between the eyes. It was not painful, but powerful in its impact. I suddenly knew that God’s promise was true: His grace was sufficient for me. I never questioned Him again.

Was I suddenly giddy and happy, bursting into “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart…” like my children sang when they were little? Hardly. Forgive my bluntness, but I find that song so annoying! Mostly because it equates God’s joy into a sort of fake, upbeat happiness with a smile plastered on one’s face. Is that what joy is?

When I read God’s Word, joy takes on a whole new meaning. It is not the absence of heartache and difficulty but the assurance of God’s love and grace. Surprisingly, it is often connected with grief, mourning, and trials.

King David wrote these words right after pleading for deliverance from the enemies who were seeking to kill him:

“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.” (Psalm 5:11 NIV)

Salvation through Jesus Christ brings true joy, as was experienced by Paul’s jailer after he had accepted Christ:

“The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them. He was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.” (Acts 16: 34 NIV)

Trusting in God’s strength and comfort brings joy:

“That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV)

The Lord’s presence fills us with His eternal view:

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalms 16:11 NIV)

The most difficult of circumstances can lead to greater joy:

“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126: 5-6 NIV)

Terrible trials can lead to an outpouring of compassion for others:

“Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” (2 Corinthians 8:2 NIV)

And finally, His Word promises renewed laughter, filled with the joy of the Lord.

“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” (Job 8:21 NIV)

So did my daughter’s death bring a giddy happiness to my heart? No. But despite the pain, the trials, the loss, I have learned that there is joy in the mourning.

May your Christmas be Blessed with HIS JOY!

Posted in Encouragment, Inspiration | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Final Market Monday, Best of MM: Influencers

Posted by Lisa Lickel on December 10, 2012

I’m grateful for the support of our various teams and supporters through the years. We’ve all learned things about blogging, expectations, a little of who we are, promtions that work and don’t work, and scheduling our time. For our final Market Monday piece, I’ll share this popular post from June 2011, with a few updates.

Thank you again, and look for Elaine, Sophie, and me over at Author Culture.

What An Influencer Does

By Lisa J Lickel

 

There are book reviewers, there are promotion team members, there are posse and tribe members and cheerleaders for authors…but how does it work? What should they do for and with you to help you promote your work? Here are some examples; few of which you need to be a writer to do.

 

AN INFLUENCER WILL do many or all of these activities:

 

Recommend the book as club selection to your book club; visit the author’s interviews and leave comments.

 

Mention the book when you visit online book club or chat sites. I like to quote a passage or make a comment on Facebook while I’m reading the book.

 

Offer the author a guest spot on your blog or web site. Add the book to a sidebar on your blog, at least for a while.

 

Regularly contribute to an online book review site, and online retailers to post a review. If you’re in a chat room, an online forum, wherever, and the topic comes up, talk about this relevant book you read.

 

Offer to write a book review for your local newspaper. Offer to write (or use one from the author) an article or press release.

 

Add the book to your list of favorites on social networking sites such as Facebook, Shoutlife, Author’s Den, and Goodreads, and post about the book to your friends.

 

Ask your public library to order a copy of the book for their shelves. If your church has a library, ask the librarian to add it to the acquisitions list or offer to donate a copy.

 

When you shop at a bookstore see if they are carrying the book. If not, ask if they’ll order a few copies.

 

If you belong to a writer’s group with a newsletter, ask if you can contribute a book review or give some other plug.

 

Help create a buzz about the book by mentioning it in any groups you might belong to: small group studies, women’s ministry groups, health club, MOPS, civic organizations, Scouts, PTA, etc.

 

Tell friends, family, other people in your social circles about the book and the author. Talk about it when you’re in a waiting room, in line at a store, or at the coffee shop.

 

Make book gifts at holidays and birthdays a regular habit.

 

Hand out author cards, bookmarks, or other promotional materials. Leave a copy in a waiting room (ask), the book shelf at the retirement/assisted living center near you, at that lodge or campground you visit that has a share shelf, at the little neighborhood library.

 

Always remember: Word-of-mouth recommendation is still the number one reason book buyers buy specific books.

 

Posted in Author Marketing, Authors, Encouragment | Comments Off

Five secrets to live a joyous, clean life.

Posted by janeteckles on December 8, 2012

12-3-12QuinoaBy: Janet Perez Eckles

I sat at the kitchen table in my friends’ lovely home. “Have you tried quinoa?” I asked them.

“Yes,” they chorused. “We don’t like it!”

“Don’t like it? It’s the best thing around,” I protested. “So nutritious and delicious—depending how you prepare it, that is.”

“It tasted so very sour,” they said. “It was awful, too bitter.”

As details and comments bounced back and forth I learned their big ‘no-no’—they cooked the quinoa without thoroughly rinsing it first. Each grain has a covering (bitter to the taste) to keep birds from eating it.

“C’mon, friends,” I said, rolling up my sleeves, “let’s do it right. Need to wash it well first.”

And sure enough, they prepared it correctly and when cooked, we added a little almond milk, some honey and a dash of cinnamon—delicious!

Here’s a question for you: Is your life delicious or just a bit sour and bitter? Maybe it’s because of the coating of stress and fear that covers up your joy.

We all have those times, those stages and seasons. I say, let’s jump in under the faucet of God’s grace and figure out how to rinse those things that keep us from enjoying, really enjoying life.

Here are five ways to live a clean, healthy, happy and hugely joyous life:

1. Stand under the living water Jesus offers.
2. Rub off stains of sin. Use the brush of repentance if necessary.
3. For more stubborn stains of sin, pour the bleach of His grace.
4. And if the whole garment of your life is soiled, soak in His Word night and day.
5. Press clean item with the iron of contentment and good choices.

Like quinoa, the sour and bitter taste will be washed away. And, our life, clean and fresh, will be ready to be used by God for His purpose, for His glory and for the beautiful plans He has for us.

And like quinoa, David also needed rinsing. He was the king of messes. But He soaked one night in the bleach of repentance. And as he did, he probably repeated, “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness…” (Psalm 51:5-7).

Father, I too want to hear joy and gladness. I commit to begin again, clean, free from the bitter covering of sin. I thank you that you gave us the way to find the clarity of joy, the cleansing of peace and the shining newness of a new beginning. In Jesus’ name, amen

• Any rinsing needed in your life today?
• What keeps you from starting over, clean and free?
• How does it feel to stand under the refreshing, living water Jesus offers?

Janet
Cheering you on to experience life, harvest its lessons and share their outcome.

Posted in Encouragment, Hope, Inspiration | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Christmas Cotton Balls

Posted by elainemcooper on December 7, 2012

Note from Author Elaine Marie Cooper: This is a re-post from last year. I received so many positive responses, I wanted to share it with you again. I hope this story blesses you.

DSCN1154

When I was little, my favorite Christmas tradition was the cotton balls. Now these fluffy white puffs might not seem significant in and of themselves. But my mother wisely used them to represent a tangible that you could not see: doing kind deeds for others.

Our instructions were simple enough. During Advent, each of us six children was advised to take a cotton ball every time we did something nice for someone else. Without anyone else’s knowledge, we were instructed to put one cotton ball into a jar. But it was very important that no one see us, Mom said. Only God would know.

I still remember looking over my shoulder more than once to see if anyone was looking. With five older siblings, that was not an easy task. Someone was usually hanging around, spying!

As the days leading up to Christmas slipped by, the jar of cotton balls slowly began to fill up. I would stare in wonder at the growing mound, amazed that my ornery siblings and I had managed to do that many kind deeds! It was probably a good thing there were so many of us. :)

But grow it did and by Christmas Eve, the jar was usually quite full.

DSCN1147

And then came the best part. Mom removed all the cotton balls that evening and set them in our manger. Then, with eyes wide with wonder, we watched her place the ceramic baby Jesus right on top of the cotton mound. We now had given our gift to Him so that he would be warm in the cold stable.

Recalling this scene brings tears to my eyes as I think of the wisdom my Mom had in showing that what we do out of love, we are doing for Christ. Our sacrifice for others is a warm gift to His heart.

This Christmas season, give a gift of the heart to someone, and share His love. He is the ultimate gift.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Posted in Encouragment, Family | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Slow Your Heart

Posted by Luther D. Powell on December 6, 2012

Another college semester is near its end, and with every end comes a variety of emotions. No semester seems to end on a bland note. Maybe that’s just me, but luckily, this semester’s end is looking quite bright, and I’ve found happiness in my work and my friendships. In my battle with depression over the past few years, I would tell people, “I have my good nights and my bad nights.” However, in the past month or so, I can’t recall having what I would consider a “bad night.”

Still, I come to this sort of happiness and it’s almost like I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t know how to react to it, because it’s been a while since it’s stuck around long enough for me to notice. My emotions reach a new height, but they come to a screeching halt when I realize I don’t know what to do with myself in this state.

My initial thought is to give thanks to God for providing me with this happiness, so I pray. I pray and pray and pray and give thanks until I run out of words, but my mind is still restless, trying to find an appropriate way to express how I feel.

So, what must I do? Have I literally been TOO happy lately? Does anyone around me even notice a difference? Is there supposed to be a difference? What do I do with this? How do I react?

Well, for anyone who has a similar issue, vague as it may sound, I believe it’s time to slow your heart. We’ve all let our emotions drive us from time to time, and I think I’ve spent so long letting negative emotion linger in me that I’m at a loss for logic. I’m happy now, but there’s still one thing I feel I should do to truly feel happy, to feel joyful. I need to slow my heart.

I need to find peace in my Lord, in His love for me, in His will for me. When a friend or family member gives you a gift, do you just thank them and run off? No! You thank them, then spend time with them. To me, it’s the same deal with God. God will bless you in ways you won’t even notice, and if you just thank Him and try to move on with your life without any sense of direction, your happiness will meet its limit soon after.

Another way to explain would be to compare this to a first date. On my first date, and many dates following with the same girl for that matter, my heart used to beat like crazy for hours. So much so that it made me physically sick. I couldn’t even eat anything when I was this girl because I was too excited to be with her! I think it’s easy to get so excited over what God does for you that you don’t take a moment to sit and rest your heart. You can’t concentrate, you can’t interact calmly, you can’t stop running around in circles. It’s okay to get excited, but we need peace as well. We need to slow our hearts.

So, try to find peace with God when He blesses you. Spend time with Him. Don’t just tell Him you’re thankful, show Him you’re thankful! Read The Word, soak it in, spend time in silence thinking on it. I hope this made sense to anybody other than me, thanks for reading, cheers and God bless!

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Encouragment, Friendship, Happiness, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Christmas Commercialism

Posted by Lisa Lickel on December 5, 2012

Man nails Santa to cross to protest commercialism

 

My pastor showed a picture like this during his sermon, after he shooed the children away for Sunday School. I wavered between confusion, shock, amusement, guilt, dismay, being creeped out. Even now I’m just not sure about it. Pastor Dave’s point was that we treat Santa too much like God. He used the words of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to show similarities in what we profess about Christ, and what we expect Santa will do, and I have to admit I was impressed at the eerily similar spin.

 

Santa might be the only Jesus some kids know. How bad would that be?

Here’s the article that goes with the picture. http://www.katu.com/news/12774337.html

I have had an ornament like this one below for many years. It’s ceramic, colorful, reverent. I remember the first time I saw it, I was entranced. Yes, I thought—that’s it! That’s exactly it.

 

I was one of those parents who taught my kids that Nicholaus was a real person, and told them his story and the reason we give gifts to others today, to show our great love to each other because of the gift Jesus gave us. If other kids want to believe that Santa Claus brings them presents Christmas morning, they shouldn’t make fun or say anything mean. Someday they’ll learn the truth.

 

Some kids already know where their presents come from: Social Services or some other charity. No illusions there. The gifts I most want to give the kid whose name I pluck from the giving tree is hope, passion, grit, compassion. I pick out a t-shirt and a couple of toys, and a candy cane with the Christian story of what the stripes mean tied to it. Someone you’ve never met wants to give you a dream, and someone you’ve never met will pray for you, and love you. This anonymous child has a story for sure. Characteristics to add to my file, make up a story about how we influenced each other. Imagination amok—beware, writer on board.

 

So, what do you believe about commercialism, telling children about Santa, gift giving, enjoying family time, showing love?

Posted in Authors, Encouragment | 3 Comments »

Power Steering, God’s Way

Posted by elainemcooper on November 30, 2012

Posted by Elaine Marie Cooper

“It’s going to cost HOW MUCH?”

The poor mechanic on the other end of the phone must have trembled at my shrill voice.

His hesitantly-spoken, high-priced answer left me speechless.

So much for Christmas shopping plans.

It was bad enough that the power steering on my six-year-old car needed a major repair, but this same vehicle had been in the shop for big repairs three previous times in the last two months. Of course, my computer laptop battery decided to quit at the same time as the steering mechanism in my car broke down. My outlook on dealing with mechanical disasters was edging toward despair.

When would the repairs end? Not likely any time soon since we live in such an imperfect world.

I admit, I was depressed. I had plans to shop.

But God soon reminded me Who exactly is in control. I had to give up my will to His because, not only do I not have a choice, but it is foolish to dwell on my desires when He clearly had another plan for this Christmas.

And was this Christmas really going to be empty of gifts? Going through the checklist for the grandkids, are things really that bad?

Jammies? Check.

Jackets?  Check.

Books? Check.

Toys? Check.

Still working on the afghans…Check.

There are kids in this country and around the world that may receive nothing this Christmas.

Reality…check.

Putting aside my manic desire to shop for so much more—well-intentioned as it may be—I submitted to God’s Power. I rested in His plans.

I’m so glad HE controls my steering.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21 NIV)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Posted in Encouragment | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Regarding Art School

Posted by Luther D. Powell on November 29, 2012

Last night, I got asked a pretty blunt question, one which I’d expect to have been asked by now, but never took the time to come up with a good answer for. Until now. A friend asked me, “Why did you choose to go to school for art?”

Now, I could answer by saying, I like drawing, and wanted to become better at it and find a career in it. However, I know a handful of people who are fantastic artists who either didn’t stay in school for art, or never went in the first place. I don’t NEED art school to get better; just motivation and the will to learn more about my practice. It wasn’t until today that I really thought up good reasons for going to school for art.

I’ll admit, when people ask what I’m studying, and I tell them “fine arts,” I’ve grown accustomed to the looks of pity people give me. Probably thinking, “You’ll never find a job in that in Ohio, or anywhere else, ever,” which I can understand. I’ll have people tell me they admire my artistic talent, but I can tell what they’re thinking. Or rather, some people vocalize what they’re thinking. It’s generally accepted that artists have to really know their stuff to get anywhere in life (which is why I’m also a writer, ‘cause that’s one of those ambitious occupations people seek too, yes?), and I’m not offended by the notion. It makes sense. One doesn’t just draw pictures and sell them to people, although that’s what I’ve started with as an art career, so to speak. You have to develop your own style, figure out who wants to see it, what you could use it for or who else could use it, all that stuff that goes into making a business of any sort.

All that to say, I definitely understand why people might look down on an arts degree, or why any art students change their majors and/or drop out. Making a living off art is tough, hence why I’m also in food service and, again, writing novels. So, thinking on all the cons of being an art student, finding a specific, logical reason as to why I chose it is actually kind of hard.

But here’s what I’ve come up with, so hear me out.

Art school isn’t just about painting pretty pictures, or learning how to paint pretty pictures. It’s not all about methods or style. And it sure as beans isn’t about picking an ‘easier’ degree to aim for just to make a name for yourself, because trust me, everyone I know who went into art school expecting it to be easy was thoroughly disappointed.

The things I’ve learned as an art student, people don’t just pick up on in whatever daily life routines. When I tell people some of the things I do or think on, they look at me like I’m an alien, because people just don’t do those things. For example, being an art student has turned me into an all-out detail-nut. I pick up on things about people that they don’t even notice about themselves. Facial features, smells, mannerisms, BONE STRUCTURES. I remember my friends by all kinds of little things that I’ve begun to look for in reality the way I would look for details in a piece of artwork to find meaning or message.

Oddly enough, being an art student has given me a passion for learning about a lot of stuff that I went to art school assuming I could avoid. Science, philosophy, history, there are a handful of subjects I didn’t expect to WANT to learn more about, not that I ever hated them. But now, after spending night after night conjuring images with paper and pencils, my brain grows restless, and I crave new information, about totally random stuff! As a writer, I research specific things in order to compose a seemingly-authentic story that people can relate with, but as an artist, I’m stuck with whatever my brain comes up with, and I NEED MORE.

One last great aspect of being an art student, at least, one for me personally, is that I can express my love for God and Bible stories in ways that have been around since people. God’s message used to be spread through art by nearly every well-known ‘master’ artist such as Michelangelo and Caravaggio (my personal favorite), and people don’t seem to think about that anymore so much as, “Wow, artists back then were crazy-ambitious.” I can change that, I can bring back God’s message through art, and I can do it my own way to reach out to all kinds of people. To non-Christian art students, the equivalent is simply, one can reach out to people with wonderful, meaningful messages that are just as useful in life as any doctor, policeman, scientist or construction worker. Don’t go to art school just so you can get better at drawing stuff, go to discover a message within yourself that needs to be spread!

I hope this is informative for anybody wanting to pursue an art career or become an art student, and that it encourages my art-student-friends. Although art school is a bit difficult, it’s worth it to learn all the non-art related things that sneak into your mind. Thanks for reading, cheers and God bless!

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Encouragment, Life Experiences, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Promotion in Motion: dwashington-jones, the runaway Christmas tree

Posted by Lisa Lickel on November 27, 2012

Welcome d. washington-jones, who talks about writing and her children’s book.

About the Author:

d. washington-jones is a writer and an educator who teaches business and economics courses.  She is also a mother of four and an avid “story teller” as was her mother before her.  Although “The Runaway Christmas Tree” is a children’s E-Book, she explores writing in many genres.  She exemplifies a conspicuous writing style of humor, discovery and adventure. She has won numerous awards in education and also writes songs, poetry, business plans and seminars.

From the Book:  

The Kent family wants to purchase a real Christmas tree this year.  When they finally pick one from Nick’s Magic Christmas Tree Grove, they get more than what they bargained for.  They wanted a real tree, but just how does one define “real?”  That is precisely what the Kent family is about to find out!

An Interveiw with d.washington-jones

When did you first begin to write?

In junior-high school, I wrote a short story that everyone seemed to like and it started others to write stories all over the school.  I wrote the story in one weekend and I was hooked from there.  Although I never got it officially published, I consider it one of my greatest achievements because of its impact.  From there, I began to write songs, poetry and plays.  One of my plays was entered in a talent show and I won first place!

What is the most difficult part of writing?

Discipline, hands down.  The most difficult thing for me is actually sitting down to write.  So many other things take precedence some times and I have learned that a heart that is full of anxiety is not free to write.

What was the inspiration (motivation) behind the book? 

My youngest son, now 15, was nine years old when I began writing

this book.  He brought home a story starter that his teacher had given him. I thought it was such a cute idea and that it had the potential for a great little book for children.

What is the hardest part about self-publishing a book?

The hardest part is marketing.  Even if you have a great story, it could just sit on Amazon’s shelf along with millions of other books, because it is difficult to get the word out that it is there.  It can become one book, lost in a sea of many.

What do you like best about your E-Book and why do you think others will like it?

I believe that the story-line is really great and that it has “classic” Christmas story potential.  I could actually see it play alongside “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” or even “Rudolph” on television. It is also based around the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas.  The cast of characters are charming and are very unique like no other classic before it and the illustrations, done by Joe Parrie, are excellent.

How exactly do you feel about your book being an E-Book as opposed to a paperback book? 

Well, I’d love to see it in paperback one day, but for now, my book is a statement to the opportunities available for writers through self-publishing and this is a vital part of what I like to call, “The Digital Revolution.”  More people are buying E-readers and are reading E-Books as one in five households have read an E-Book in the last 12 months according to a Pew Research study done recently. Besides Kindle, Kindle Fire and Nook, my E-book can actually be downloaded by way of a free Kindle app for the I Pad, I Phone, Android and other electronic devices.  This is a new day and as a writer, I am excited to be a part of it.

What can your readers be in store for in the future?

I’m excited to announce that I am writing a sequel, The Runaway Christmas Tree Goes to London. I have a mystery series that I am working on for children, a love-story and a few other things that are in the works.  I’m excited about these projects and can’t wait to see them in print, or E-Book form and out of my head! (Writers will certainly understand that one).

Where can your readers connect with you?

Readers can connect with me on Facebook, twitter, through our website, blog and the following:

http://www.facebook.com/dwashingtonjones

http://www.twitter.com/dwashingtonjone

http://www.therunawaychristmastree.com

The Runaway Christmas Tree website and launch page or even through my inspirational blog at www.dwashingtonjones.com.

To purchase the book on Amazon

Here is the link to purchase it on Barnes and Noble

                                                             

Posted in Author Marketing, Author Spotlight, Encouragment, Writing | Tagged: , , | Comments Off

 
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