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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    • Chicken and Waffles
      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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    • A Warm Welcome to Beth Wiseman
      It's a real pleasure to welcome Beth Wiseman to our site today! Welcome, Beth!Is there a story behind your book The Promise? Yes.  A remarkable story that is very close to my heart.  The Promise is inspired by actual events.  Someone close to me (we are calling her Laurie) traveled to Pakistan, married a man there, and was ultimately held captive.  I ha […]
    • The Promise by Beth Wiseman
      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 […]
    • A Blizzard Full Of Book Winners
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft.And before we announce these eight winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to:Raelee May Carpenter who offered her Young Adult book: The Lincoln High Project. Misty M. Beller who offered her Historical Romance The Lady and the Mountain Man. Virginia Tenery who offered her […]
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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 […]
    • Announcing the 2014 Laurel Award Winner!
      2014 LAUREL AWARD WINNERAuthor Ruth Reid's novel A MIRACLE OF HOPEis the winner of Clash of the Titles's fourth annual Laurel Award.CONGRATULATIONS, RUTH!Ruth will receive the following: a beautiful banner to display on her website; a year-long page on COTT dedicated to the winning book, A Miracle of Hope; a "Heart of the Matter" radio in […]
    • ANNOUNCING THE LAUREL FINALISTS!
      The entries have been read and the scores have been tallied. Our unique panel of judges, comprised strictly of readers, has determined our three finalists. And they are…Ruth Reid's A Miracle of HopeJune Foster's Deliver UsCarole Brown's The Redemption of Caralynne HaymanCongratulations to all three!!(Of special note, this is Ruth's second […]
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      What? You think you know everything? I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no one knows everything. Oh, there is one, Hashem. He's omniscient. But no one else is. Even Yeshua (Jesus) isn't. He doesn't know the hour or day he will come again. Some people rejoice in learning something new. I tend to be one of those people. I read about […]
    • Too Blessed To Be Stressed
      I’m pretty addicted to computer games. There have been a number, over the years, I have enjoyed. Right now I’m playing Zynga’s Castleville Legends. I’m in an alliance of ladies who play and help each other. It’s a generous,  supporting group with a fair number of believers. We encourage each other and have a lot of fun. The ladies are from all over the US, p […]
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      Living in small towns has special challenges and delights. When I say ‘small’ I mean ‘small’. The town I live near has approximately 250 people. The county seat has 3600 and the county has about 16,000. So this is rural America. You might think this county was in the western states where the population is lower and space is not a problem. No, I live in Illin […]
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    • From Now On, with Susan A. Royal
      Remember, friends, MuseItUp is a Canadian publisher, so some Queen's English rules apply.Introducing Susan A. Royal, a fellow MuseItUp Publishing author, to talk about her new book,From Now OnAbout the Book:     Griffin has traveled across centuries to reunite with the woman he loves, but he and Erin may not get their ‘happy ever after’. Not if Lady Iso […]
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      Desperate Dreams: Deadly ExodusKim McMahillc. 2012Prism Book GroupISBN: 978-0984764587Price 3.9911.99Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes and NobleSet in the scary near-future, Desperate Dreams is a dystopian story about a state-controlled society attempting to reduce crime and corruption by moral bankruptcy.McMahill tells the story of four teens plotting to rebel aga […]
    • World Wide Blog Hop and High Stakes WIP
      I'm pleased to follow Cherie Burbach in a World Wide Blog Hop.Cherie posted here last week: http://workingwritersandbloggers.com/2014/10/17/world-wide-blog-hopWhat am I working on?I'm currently at work on a project that follows my 2010 award-winning novel, Meander Scar. The story takes place in that year, and I wish I had been taking better notes a […]
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    • Book Giveaway: The Beckoning by Michael Minot
      In celebration of Michael Minot's new book, The Beckoning, Nearly Brilliant is giving away one copy of the book (print or ebook, winner's choice). To enter, leave a comment below with your email stating why you'd like to win a copy. Here's more about the book and the author.Several years after graduating from law school, Michael Minot dis […]
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      Don't miss this special promo for free and discounted book deals on Kindle Books and TipsThe Treasure Seeker: The Quest to Find God, Spiritual Intimacy and Value is just .99For more freebies and deals, sign up for their ezine. www.fkbooksandtips.com 
    • 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 ‘Writing’ Category

On a Final Note

Posted by Luther D. Powell on December 20, 2012

Good news, everybody! My friend in Romania (she lives 7 hours ahead of us, so it’s after midnight for her) is STILL ALIVE! :gasp: That means the world will be fine.

No, seriously, if I hear another end-of-the-world prediction, I’m going to drive to wherever this person is and I will throw an angry kitten at him/her.

In other news, this is my last post here at Reflections. :cue weeping: “I’d like to thank the academy…”

Though my time here has been short (somewhere around a year), it’s been fun and quite the learning experience. If I’ve learned anything more about being a writer, whether writing blogs or stories or bad jokes, it’s that, writing is now and always will be a self-motivating job. (My keyboard stammered and missed the ‘s’ on ‘self-motivating’ for a second, so it said ‘elf-motivating.’ I could have left it and made a dumb Christmas joke, but I didn’t…) No amount of encouragement, inspiration or watching scary movies is going to get a book written. It’s all about sitting down and WRITING SOMETHING. This applies to me during my Christmas Break now more than it did during the semester, because now I don’t have homework to distract me.

Haha…yes, I think of homework as a distraction from my writings. I’m a terrible student.

This really has been nice, though. I’m not the best at coming up with topics on the spot, but either way, writing is writing, and I always learn more about myself and others when I take the time to speak my mind in public. Public…Internet…same thing.

I’m definitely going to try keeping in touch with the Reflections crew, and I’m thinking of starting my own blog eventually. I’ll get around to it. I have too many thoughts and ideas to confine them to a personal journal; I’d rather bounce ideas off other readers and hear what they have to say about this and that. I’d post a link to my ‘new blog’ if I had one at the moment, so for now I’ll just say, keep an eye out for me here on WordPress. Of course, this isn’t about me. It’s about Jesus, and I happen to be passionate about spreading the Good News, so if you like hearing it from me, then come find my other blog when I make it. We’ll spread the Good News together!

With that, I bid readers a fond farewell, happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah and winter solstice for whomever celebrates whatever. Happy Birthday Jesus! Thanks again for reading all my rantings, cheers and God bless!

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing | 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

Lost in the Woods new book – free e-book today!

Posted by Lisa Lickel on November 25, 2012

We’re doing something a little different today. Instead of just a review, we’re showcasing Cheryl Rogers, author of a new series aimed at pre-teens, starting with Lost in the Woods, which you can get free today on Kindle.

Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery, a brand new mystery adventure for preteens and teens, is available for free this black Friday weekend in the Amazon Kindle Store.

The book set in the Florida backwoods is the story about a boys’ church group whose first-ever nature retreat turns into a nightmare.  Problems begin early when the no-see-ums strike at dusk. And it’s downhill from there when 13-year-old Zack mysteriously disappears in the middle of the night, several of the campers become sick, and a hurricane threatens the Gulf Coast.

The story shares biblical principles and the message of God’s saving love in an action-packed plot with a cast of lovable characters. Readers encounter the nature-loving Zack, shy, video-loving Chang, tough and cocky Steve, and the reluctant chef, Bill.

The book is authored by Cheryl Rogers, publisher of New Christian Books Online Magazine, a free publication with new book announcements, excerpts, author marketing news, digital book news, features and an online storefront.

“As a mom I’ve been privileged to work with school and church groups. I try to capture the realism of those experiences in a fiction account that shares my faith,” Rogers says.

Rogers, a Miami native who worked several years as a newspaper reporter, writes ebooks encouraging people of all ages to seek God and stay connected to his word. Among her books are Finding God: Biblical Answers to Questions About Our Maker and Fast Track to Victory, A Christian Guidebook.

She targets preteens and teens with Just Like Jonah Wail Tales, a collection of short stories teaching there is a price to pay when you disobey. A family book, the I Can See Christian Storybook Treasury aims to defeat doubts about God as a child grows.

Rogers came to know the Lord as an adult after suffering a devastating illness. “It is my hope to spare others the needless pain of not having God in their lives,” she says.

An experienced camper and native Floridian, Rogers has traversed the backwoods trails, swatted no-see-ums, paddled canoes, and pitched her tent on primitive campsites sans electricity.

The book retails for $2.99, but Get your free copy today. The giveaway runs Nov. 23, 24, and 25.

Exclusive details about the lovable Bible Camp Mystery characters will be published in the coming weeks at New Christian Books Online Magazine.

Posted in Author Marketing, Family, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Writing | Tagged: , , | Comments Off

Tuesday Promotion in Motion: Vijaya Schartz and Chronicles of Kassouk

Posted by Lisa Lickel on November 20, 2012

NOAH’S ARK

Chronicles of Kassouk – A Prequel (The beginning)

By Vijaya Schartz

From Desert Breeze Publishing

April 2012

About the Book:

When Trixie’s star freighter, Noah’s Ark, drops out of jump space in an uncharted part of the universe, she believes the M‑class planet on her viewer represents hope and salvation for her motley crew and the ragtag settlers aboard her ship.

Kostas, ex Space Marine, the expert survivalist recruited for this expedition, doesn’t believe in coincidences, and knows that when something looks too good to be true, it usually is.

Everyone on this voyage to seed a new planet with life, is running from something, and harbors dangerous secrets… including Trixie, who vowed to never let a man control her life again. As for Kostas, he would get lynched on the spot if anyone suspected who he really is.

But on this seemingly abandoned planet, others are watching, herding them for evil purposes… And when the truth emerges and secrets unravel, Trixie and Kostas will have to fight for survival, for freedom, and for the right to love…

Buy the book:

Amazon Kindle

B&N Nook

All Romance eBooks

 

About the Author:

Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything and could never refuse a challenge. She likes action and exotic settings, in life and on the page. She traveled the world and claims to also travel through time, as she writes with the same ease about the future and the far away past. She has over twenty titles available in various genres. Her books collected many five star reviews and literary awards. She makes you believe you actually lived these extraordinary adventures among her characters. Her stories have been compared to Indiana Jones with sizzling romance. So, go ahead, dare to experience the magic, and she will keep you entranced, turning the pages until the last line.

A brief interview with the Author:

1. What do you love about this new book?

I love the fact that after writing the entire series, I went back and re-read all the books in order to write about what happened before. I had sewn so many threads in the course of the four other novels, that it was a challenge. I had many legends and sites, and cultures that needed a point of origin. Of course I knew what they were, but writing their story was very exciting. I also loved revisiting the world of Kassouk with a new perspective.

2. What new information did you learn in the writing or publication of this book?

I learned that I work well with a frame of reference. The more details are imposed upon my story from the start, the better it is for my muse. Constraints do not impair but enhance my imagination. So when I had to work with so many threads, while my author friends were exclaiming how restrictive it might be, I was excited and inspired. That’s probably why I also work well writing publisher series, like the Borealis sci-fi romance series from Desert Breeze Publishing. I also learned that I can get cats into my stories, even on a spaceship.

3. Please share something unique about the book or yourself that fans won’t find on your web site or Facebook.

The Chronicles of Kassouk series started for me a long time ago, when I wasn’t published yet. It started as a short story. I wanted to prove to myself that I could write a story about snow, even though I hate the cold and I have lived in the warm zones of the globe for a few decades. But I discovered at the time that I couldn’t write short. The working title was The Snows of Kassouk. Then it became White Tiger and was first published as a single title by Triskelion Publishing in 2004. Then, after the Triskelion bankruptcy fiasco, Desert Breeze wanted to re-publish it, and that’s when it became a series that now has five titles. Hush-hush. There is a sixth title in the works, but it won’t be published until 2014.

Visit Vijaya:

Web: Vijaya Schartz

Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick

http://www.amazon.com/author/vijayaschartz

Posted in Author Marketing, Author Spotlight, Writing | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

AutoCrit Editing Wizard, a useful tool for writers

Posted by April W Gardner on November 14, 2012

Last month, someone on the John 3:16 Marketing Network recommended the website AutoCrit.com. Today, I looked into it, and so far, it has all the appearance of being useful tool for writers.

In the company’s own words, “The AutoCrit Editing Wizard is an instant book editor. With the click of a button it shows you the problems in your manuscript.”

Copy, paste, click “analyze.” That simple.

The free version analyzes 1,500 words each day. It will check for overused words, sentence length variation, and clichés and redundancies.

The paid version increases word count to 3,000 per day and adds on repeated words and phrases, phrases summary, pacing, dialog tags, initial pronouns, readability, and homonyms. The repeated words and phrases alone is worth the $47/year!

I put the first scene of my latest novel through the wizard. Mind you, it had already undergone four critiques, but I was still shocked at what the wizard caught. It’s mostly nit-picky stuff, but since I’m a nit-picky author, AutoCrit has potential to become by bestest buddy.

With a 30-day money back guarantee, it was a no-brainer to fork over $47, but I plan to test-drive it hard over the next month!

Swing by there now and pop 500 of your latest words into the wizard. Just for fun. Then come back and let me know what you think!

April W Gardner is an award-winning author and the founder of Clash of the Titles.

Posted in Authors, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

On the Brink of No-Shave-NaNo

Posted by Luther D. Powell on November 1, 2012

Last year, my blog-predecessor, Ben Erlichman, blogged at the start of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) about his plans for upcoming stories. I thought I’d do the same, for those curious about the different types of stories I come up with, and also to help motivate myself to write said stories. I’m challenging myself for NaNo, but I don’t have an account on the actual site, NaNoWriMo.org.

On another quick note, it is also No-Shave-November, or Noshavember for short. For most guys on campus, that means shaving off facial hair on the night of October 31, and letting it grow uncontrollably throughout November. For me, that just means trimming what beard I have, and letting it continue to do its thing for the month and probably through all of Winter. Because I, for one, do not want a cold chin in this nasty, Ohio weather.

These are all the different stories I currently have in mind to write eventually. A few are pretty well developed, most are just ideas tossed about scattered notebooks. If I remember correctly, Ben Erlichman made up a big planning chart for himself with all his story ideas, but I… don’t make charts. Like, ever. So I figured I would just brief you on each idea, without giving away too much meat, of course.

First and foremost, there’s the werewolf story. It’s the first real novel I ever started writing, and had it (and its sequel) complete until I decided it was terrible and had to rewrite it. The story itself was originally going to span for seven books, but I’m playing it by ear now, considering the vast amounts of changes I’ve made to it. The story follows a variety of characters, most of which are not human (werewolves, vampires, mutants, angels, demons, all that good stuff); teenagers in high school struggling to fit in despite their ‘abnormalities,’ immortals locked in ageless battle with others of their kind, unseen evils trying to end the world, unseen good trying to bring all the supernatural characters against the evil in order to save the world… It’s… ambitious. But it’s MOSTLY about werewolves.

The story I’ve chosen to work on for NaNo is what I’ll call a ghost-romance. It starts off like any other love story: two college students meet at a party, things are a bit shaky at first, but they develop a relationship. Lovey-doviness ensues. The fun part is, the guy has recurring nightmares about horrible things happening to the girl, and strange, disturbing things start happening wherever the girl goes. I won’t give away any more, but I’m pretty excited about this one.

I also have two other ghost stories in mind, one of which I plan to write as a short. The short will be about a vengeful spirit haunting its murderer. The other book will involve a single father and his toddler son (or daughter, haven’t decided). The child is lonely, and begins talking about what seems to be an imaginary friend. Coincidentally, spooky stuff occurs around the house once the child brings up his/her ‘friend.’ The father, being a devout Christian, suspects an evil presence, and seeks help from priests to rid his home of his child’s creepy buddy. Once again, without giving more away, things do not turn out as expected for the father, and he gets himself involved in deeper business…

I plan on writing extended stories stemming from the two shorts I had published a little while back, Double-Edged (in Splickety magazine) and Front Row Seats (in OtherSheep magazine). Double-Edged is essentially about a ‘church-soldier’ in a bleak, post-holy-war future, turning his back on the corrupt church sect which trained him. The extended story would make a good trilogy, taking place during and after the holy war the main character fought in, leading up to the events of the short story.

Front Row Seats is a short story about a man struggling through a recent divorce, his inner battle described in detail during a church sermon he attends. This is probably the least horror-related story I’ve thought up, but its uniqueness comes from the portrayal of the good and evil presence following him around in his daily life. The extended story would pretty much explain all this better than I just did…

Another book I have in the works is a murder mystery thriller. It’s still very premature, but what I have so far is an investigation on a series of famous, gruesome paintings of death (in the story, not real ones) which are being mimicked by a serial killer. So like, there’s some crazy guy going around killing people in ways which are identical to these paintings/drawings, something like that, and somebody has to stop him. Basic murder mystery formula.

To keep up with the times, I’ve inevitably thought up a zombie story. It was to be a short, but I might make it a novel or trilogy. Put simply, two priests fight for survival in a zombie apocalypse. At first I REALLY wanted to entitle it, “Mass of the Living Dead,” but I didn’t want to offend anybody and decided against it.

Finally, the most recent story I’ve come up with is about someone finding (or being given) an empty, old journal. As soon as the MC begins writing in this journal, he/she unknowingly opens the gate into an alternate reality, or maybe several, or the future, or the past, something that ultimately defies the laws of science and stuff. My initial thought was, “journal from the future. That would be cool,” but it’s turned into something bigger than that. We’ll see where it goes from there. The idea was partially inspired by Ted Dekker’s Circle books, but I want to make it scary.

Lots of ideas, lots of time for writing out said ideas. I hope you enjoyed catching a glimpse of the depths of my brain tonight. Happy Holidays for those who celebrate them, cheers and God bless!

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Inspiration, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Character Interviews

Posted by Lisa Lickel on October 31, 2012

Our friend K Dawn Byrd recently released another novel, her first with Sword and Spirit Publishing. It’s a present-day novel based on the story of Gomer and Hosea in the Bible. As part of her marketing campaign, she’s offering interviews with each of her main characters.

Interviewing the characters?

Yes. It sounds a bit odd if you’ve never heard or participated in the practice. Naomi Musch does this as well on her blog, and I’ve done it as well with some of my characters, especially from the buried treasure mysteries and Meander Scar. Even Carranza the cat had his own interview on a cool site called pets and their authors.

What’s the point of interviewing characters?

It gives an author a chance to explore the story in a way you can’t in the actual words. Maybe your book is written from a different character’s point of view and this will be the only chance a character has his or her own voice. It’s a way to give the reader a peek behind that curtain. You can also explore motives and background of the character that will help the reader unravel the “whys” of the story.

KDawn gave me permission to repeat her interviews here so you can see one way of how it’s done.

But first, about the book, Amazing Love:

Gabe Knight, a pastor in a small coastal town, finds his life is turned upside down when Dee Dillow arrives and hires him to remodel an estate she’s inherited from her aunt. Dee dashes his plans for wedded bless when on a drunken binge, she divulges that she’s the highest paid call girl in Nevada and part-owner of the ritziest brothel in the state.

Gabe falls in love with her, but can’t believe he’s hearing the voice of God when a still, small voice tells him to marry her. After much questioning, they marry and he is deliriously happy. Until, Dee betrays him.

Gabe soon discovers just how hard it is to have the unconditional love God calls him to have for his wife, the kind of love God has for his children. When faced with losing her, Gabe realizes what true love is, how much it hurts, and just how much God loves and is willing to sacrifice for his children.

About the author:

K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational novels in several genres, including, historical, suspense, romance, and young adult. Some of her favorite things are chocolate, cars, and her pets. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and riding down country roads in the passenger seat of her husband’s Corvette Stingray. When asked why she writes, her response is, “For the simple joy of placing words on the page!”

 

Interview with the heroine:

 

1. Dee, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

I’m not sure how interesting it is, but it would be pretty shocking to most people. I grew up in a brothel outside of Vegas. My mother owned it and since I was home-schooled, I spent most of my life there. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but I became the highest paid call-girl in all of the state.

 

2.  What do you do for fun?

Shop. I love fancy cars, fine jewelry, and designer bags and shoes. I also like to invest money. It’s exciting to watch it grow. I left the brothel when I was teenager and ended up trying to survive on the streets when my mother turned her back on me. I never want to live like that again and that’s why I save money.

 

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?

I put off going to church with my husband, Gabe. I’m just not into all that religion stuff. I know he expects me to go, but I’m pretty good at coming up with excuses why I can’t.

 

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?

I’m afraid of having to live on the streets again as a prostitute like I did when I was a teen. I’m also afraid of going hungry.

 

5.  What do you want out of life?

All I want is to have a family. I never even thought about a husband and kids until I met Gabe and now that’s all I think about.

 

6.  What is the most important thing to you?

My money and Gabe.

 

7.  Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

Remodeling magazines. Gabe is remodeling a huge estate I inherited from my aunt.

 

8.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d want to make Gabe happy. He expects me to accept his God, but I just can’t. It’s hard to believe in a God you can’t see.

 

9.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

No pets. I really don’t have time for them.

 

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I would go back to the day I was born and find a way to take me away from my mother. She allowed terrible things to happen to me.

 

Interview with the hero:

 

1. Gabe, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

I’m a preacher and God told me to marry a prostitute. Am I crazy? Am I hearing voices? I know God told Hosea to in the Bible, but this is 2012!

 

2.  What do you do for fun?

I love working with my hands, especially carpentry work. I also own some old vehicles and like to work on them. Sometimes they’re a challenge to keep running and my wife, Dee (the prostitute) hates them, but I can’t afford all those fancy sports cars she drives on a preacher’s salary.

 

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?

I put off dealing with drama. An ex-girlfriend has stirred up all kinds of trouble in my relationship with Dee. Maybe I shouldn’t look the other way so much. Maybe I should tell her like it is. I just hate hurting people and I have the church to think about. My greatest fear is that something will split it.

 

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?

Dying alone. I want a wife and kids.

 

5.  What do you want out of life?

I want it all. A wife. Kids. A little white house with a picket fence. Of course, I’ll settle for Dee’s mansion on the hill overlooking the ocean since that’s where she wants to live. She inherited it from her aunt and I’ve been working on it for her.

 

6.  What is the most important thing to you?

My faith. I’ve worked long and hard to get as close to God as I am and I don’t want anything coming between us.

 

7.  Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?

I read remodeling magazines.

 

8.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

If I could change one thing about myself, it would be my past. I didn’t always live for God. I did my share of drinking and had my share of women. If I could go back in time, I’d live my entire life for God.

 

9.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

No, I don’t own any pets. I’m so busy with my job as a preacher and my side jobs remodeling that there’s no time for them.

 

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’d love to meet Hosea face to face. Dee has put me through torture. She’s ripped my heart out. I’d like to ask Hosea how he dealt with that kind of pain when Gomer was unfaithful to him.

Posted in Writing | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

History Makes Good Story

Posted by Lisa Lickel on October 18, 2012

Regular columnist Luther D Powell is taking a day off; I’d appreciate spirit-strengthening prayers for him, and I think he would as well. ~Lisa

I’m in a historical frame of mind this week, as you might have been able to tell from yesterday’s post.  Our local historical society fall program is coming up on Saturday, at our church, New Horizon, 9663 Highway 144, Kewaskum, WI, 1 PM, for those who might like to come. We – or I should say – one man with a vision pretty much single-handedly restored a cemetery that our town had taken over. It was far from falling to ruin, having a keeper who lived across the road and cut the grass and picked up after vandals and weather.

The stones had fallen victim to gophers and the rumbling of the nearby highway, and even the highway department itself who simply dumped waste soil over graves when rebuilding. Gene Kenney blames me for taking him to the cemetery and showing him his life passion that basically took over the next four years of his life. He says Phebe Walford, one of the interred, called to him with a siren voice. “Find me, preserve our story,” she reportedly said. And so he did.

“I hate that woman,” Delores, his wife, told our committee at a recent meeting to plan the upcoming program. “I don’t want to hear any more.” But she laughed, so I breathed a little easier. You see, Gene didn’t stop at the physical restoration of the cemetery and its leaning and broken headstones, he single-handedly researched the families buried there.

I live a community settled in the mid-1840s by adventurous Americans, some of whom were born in Europe in the 18th century; two of whose families came over on the Mayflower. They spoke English, and traveled west from Pennsylvania and New York. They settled, suffered, and almost all moved on, seeking more adventure in the new west – free land in South Dakota!

Phebe Walford was such a one – related, as many of them – by marriage to the others. She was born in 1784, married in 1805 and had one child ten years later. Anna married and she and her husband Solomon Albright ventured west to Wisconsin territory. Phebe, whose husband John had passed earlier, followed. She helped care for Anna and Solomon’s seven children.

Solomon Albright’s brother Samuel and wife Drusilla came to Farmington, as did his older brother Jacob and wife Mary Ann. In one horrible summer, July and August, 1864, the elder Albrights lost three children, ages 20-8 and their one-year-old granddaughter, Mary. Without a physician, their best guess was typhoid fever.

I think back to the thickly-wooded community; building roads on the Potawotomi paths, oxen-carried ploughs, the creaking of ship masts and furled sails docked fifteen miles east at Port Washington; building a home of stone and log, waiting for glass panes to arrive by ship, along with those letters from family a lifetime away. Making cruel decisions to say good-bye or follow when the wander bug hits. Walking in mud so deep it sucked the shoes off your feet. Looking up from your kitchen duties and seeing a Native’s face lookin in, sniffing the bread you’d put there to cool.

From yesterday’s questions, what would you have liked to ask Phebe and her family? History is as alive as we keep it, and makes for good story today.

Posted in Life Experiences, Writing | 3 Comments »

Grabbing Those Stories – Inteviewing older people

Posted by Lisa Lickel on October 17, 2012

I gave a talk last weekend, and afterward a member of the audience told me she was inspired by my encouragement to write your own story, to not let those stories go with you when you’re gone. If you leave nothing but an echo for the next generation, there are many who will thank you.

As a local historian, I’ve been pleased to interview many people, and participate in an on-going high school collaboration to collect oral histories. English teacher Kevin Chambers has included this project in his curriculum every few years. He brings a class over to our community hall where students are matched with seniors for interviews. The students write up the story, any pictures are included, and a booklet is made up for the participating seniors. The historical society also keeps a copy, and wow–there are a lot of happy people all around.

Know someone you’d love to interview? A family member or interesting and agreeable neighbor? Here are some hints for getting a good interview.

  • Make sure the interviewee knows this is an interview.
  • Schedule a good day where no one is rushed; be flexible for health and weather issues.
  • Have plenty of paper and pencils/pens. A recorder is nice if the person agrees. A camera is a good idea. A camcorder is best, again – if the person agrees.  ALWAYS ASK PERMISSION. There is no need to be sneaky about it.
  • Ask ahead of time if there are pictures the person is willing to share. It’s best if you can bring a portable scanner, or scan the pictures in the person’s sight. Those keepsakes are difficult to let go of.
  • Have a glass of water handy. And tissues. Memories are powerful emotional events. Be prepared for them.
  • Have some idea of what you want to know from the person. If possible, don’t spend more than a couple of hours at a time, and make sure the person can write down more memories or call you when they surface. Schedule more than one visit, say over a month’s time, if possible.

 

Here are some basic starter questions. Often, these questions are just starting points to get folks to remember some details, and talk about things they wouldn’t have considered significant or historically important. Add your own. In fact – Let’s share!

Tell me about your house.  Who lived there and when.

Tell us about your bedroom; – who slept where in the house and what was it like?

Who got up first and what did they do/chores. (If appropriate, personal habits, such as bath, washing up, outhouse or indoor plumbing, etc.)

(Just go through their day) – what did you normally have for breakfast (meals)?

Who made the meals – do you remember where the food came from (store, garden, salesman)

who was the usual purchaser?  Any advertising or slogans that you recall?

About the house: electricity, gas, what type of heat, stove, refrigeration, appliances, etc.

What do you remember about the yard/driveway, grounds, around your house?

What were your clothes like – where did you get them, did you feel like you followed the fashions or not, or did you care?  What about your other family members?

Was there any weather type: flood, storms, heat waves, cold, etc. that stand out in your memory?

Did you or anyone in your house have any pets?

Tell us about the various vehicles your family used.

School – who took you, what you liked, disliked.

Entertainment – games you played, jokes, stories you told and who told/listened at what time of day?  Musical instruments? Did/do you belong to any clubs or organizations? Pen pals?  Neighbors get together?

Were there any special family celebrations, or an outstanding unusual activity that you recall?  What did your family do at holiday times?

Hobbies/favorite activities, books, shows, etc., of yourself or others in your life.

Tell us what you remember about your neighbors/ friends.

Did you go to church – where, what was it like?

Did your family use medical services, and if so, what were those experiences like?

Where did your family do their shopping?

What did you do after high school? Young adult years – career – military service – marriage, if any – post children in the home, if any – retirement.

Were there customs, ideas, that you followed from your childhood into adulthood?

What would you like people to remember about you or your family?

 

 

Posted in Encouragment, Friendship, Life Experiences, Writing | 3 Comments »

Tuesday Promotion in Motion: Wind Over Marshdale book launch with Tracy Krauss

Posted by Lisa Lickel on October 16, 2012

Tracy Krauss fans! A new book, a new book!

And not only that, gifts galore.

Tracy Krauss is launching her bookWIND OVER MARSHDALE TODAY! Tuesday, Oct. 16. Full of intrigue, romance, and plenty of surprises, see what’s hiding just beneath the surface in this seemingly peaceful town. You can help her achieve ‘best seller’ status by purchasing the book at amazon.com TODAY – and receive all kinds of cool free gifts while you’re at it!

Here’s how:

1. Go to the Landing Page on Tracy’s Website

2. Buy the book at amazon.

3. Go back to the Landing Page and fill in the form with your name, email and purchase number.

It’s that easy! You’ll be directed to your free gifts and all you have to do is choose which ones you want.

About the book:

Marshdale. Just a small farming community where nothing special happens.  A perfect place to start over… or get lost. There is definitely more to this prairie town than meets the eye. Once the meeting place of aboriginal tribes for miles around, some say the land itself was cursed because of the people’s sin. But its history goes farther back than even indigenous oral history can trace and there is still a direct descendant who has been handed the truth, like it or not. Exactly what ties does the land have to the medicine of the ancients? Is it cursed, or is it all superstition?

Wind Over Marshdale is the story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. Caught in the crossfire, new teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. First, there is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian and faces prejudice from every side as he tries to expose the truth. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own. Add to the mix a wayward minister seeking anonymity in the obscurity of the town; eccentric twin sisters – one heavily involved in the occult and the other a fundamentalist zealot; and a host of other ‘characters’ whose lives weave together unexpectedly for the final climax. This suspenseful story is one of human frailty – prejudice, cowardice, jealousy, and greed – magnified by powerful spiritual forces that have remained hidden for centuries, only to be broken in triumph by grace.

What others are saying:

Tracy Krauss has a deep talent. I am looking forward to more from her.

Tom Blubaugh, Author of Night of the Cossack

Tracy Krauss typifies all that is good in modern Christian authorship. She is consistently there for her readers and elevates her every effort.

 

Joyce Godwin Grubbs, Author From the Grassroots

Tracy’s characters are raw and real; her plots edgy and electric.

Lisa Lickel, award winning author of Meander Scar,  A Summer in Oakville, The Map Quilt and other inspirational novels.

 

There is plenty of intrigue and mystery to keep any reader’s attention, but for lovers of romance, this one will make your heart pound.

Michelle Sutton, reviewer and author of more than a dozen inspirational novels

Author bio:

Tracy Krauss is a high school teacher by profession, and a prolific author, artist, playwright and director by choice. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Saskatchewan and has gone on to teach Art, Drama and English – all the things she is passionate about. After raising four children, she and her husband now reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC where she continues to pursue all of her creative interests.

FREE STUFF:

Here’s just a sampling of the FREE e-gifts from generous supporters:

-    a free copy of  25 Years In the Rearview Mirror – compiled and edited by Stacy Juba; Shoot the Wounded by Lynn Dove; Live Without Stress by Shelley Hitz; Alternative Witness by Pauline Creeden; and Writing Your Family Legacy and Reflections of the Heart, both by Linda Weaver Clarke

- a free first chapters of such best-selling books as From Spice to Eternity by Yvonne Wright; Angels of Humility by Jackie MacGirvin; and Silence by Barbara Derksen

- beautiful downloadable greeting cards by Brenda Hendricks; and poetry posters by Violet Nesdoly

- the ‘Fit Test’ by author and trainer Kimberley Payne; plus a chance to win an ‘amazon’ gift card courtesy of Ruth Hill

-          And much more!

All if you buy your copy of WIND OVER MARSHDALE  at amazon.com on Oct 16! All links will be operational on the ‘Landing Page’ at www.tracykrauss.com/

DISCLAIMER: This ‘Best Seller book launch’ has been coordinated with the help of the John 3:16 Marketing Network and many other generous supporters. The free gifts are deliverable electronically over the internet or by email by individual authors and supporters. They are not in any way associated with, nor deliverable by, amazon.com  

Posted in Author Marketing, Author Spotlight, Book Giveaway, Writing | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
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