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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  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Evil Parents and Rotten Kids
      A-ZE is for Evil Parents and Rotten KidsI present you Jimmy Kimmel's annual "I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy" video montage. It's an artful mixture of cruelty, humor, and ghastly awe. My favorite is Drawer Boy. Now there's an ax murderer in the making.Which is your favorite? (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • Indiana Author Rick Barry
      Welcome to the Book Loft, Rick! Is there a story behind your book, The Methuselah Project? This novel is the intersection of several interests of mine. My father became a pilot as a teenager, so we always had a single engine airplane in our family. World War 2 has fascinated me since I saw the movie The Great Escape in 7th grade. I also enjoy a romantic twis […]
    • The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry
      During World War II, German scientists started many experiments. One never ended. Shot down over Nazi Germany in 1943, Roger Greene becomes both a prisoner and an unwilling guinea pig in a bizarre experiment. Seventy years later, Roger still appears as youthful as the day he crash-landed—and he’s still a prisoner. Nearly insane from his long captivity, Roger […]
    • A Warm Welcome to Deanna Nowdanick
      It's great to meet you, Deanna, and welcome you to our site! Can you tell us a bit about your family?I enjoy a wonderful marriage to my husband, Kurt. We met at Pacific Lutheran University, a delightful chapter in Signs of Life (and Fruit of My Spirit!). Let’s just say he was the cutest freshman starting on the football team. We have two adult sons. Kyl […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • And the Winner Is...
       Congratulations to...Midnight on the Mississippiby Mary EllisAbout the book:What Lies Beneath the Black Water of the Bayou?Hunter Galen, a New Orleans securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, of embezzling their clients’ money, but he’s reluctant to jeopardize their friendship. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingne […]
    • ~August 2015 Releases Clash~
      Clash of the Titles presents four new end-of-summer reads! Peruse the images, read the blurbs, then vote on your favorite in the survey. I know which one is my favorite.Enjoy, dear readers!Children of When by Jennifer RedmileTo fulfill a prophecy, Raff, Leah, and Belle must find and reunite three missing pieces of an ancient amulet, and in the process learn […]
    • Featuring.... Author Renee Blare!
      Ok, avid readers. We've got a beautiful romantic suspense novel for you this week! Check out that gorgeous cover! To Soar On Eagle's Wings is the first in this series of books set in the mountains.To Soar On Eagle's WingsSpring’s in the air. While the sun shines in Timber Springs, snow falls on the Snowy Range, and trouble’s brewing in the mea […]
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    • I'm Baack, I Think
      If you haven't noticed, which I actually hope you have, I haven't blogged for a while. Well, I needed a break. I'd published seven books in three years and I was sort of written out. I simply needed a break. So now I think the break is over. I'm thinking about writing again and have several projects in different stages of writing. They we […]
    • Chloe's Decision 
      As I stated last week, November is NANOWRIMO. I'm working on the next Stones Creek novel. It's the story of Chloe, Noah Preston's sister. She comes to Stones Creek with her two children. If you would like to read her pre-story simply subscribe to Sophie's Special Emails. No more than twice a month will you receive an email with special co […]
    • Remembering Fudgsicles
      It is November and thus NANOWRIMO, National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to begin a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. Since this occupies most of my focus for these four weeks I will be reposting previous articles each week this month. Fudgsicles, how long has it been since I’ve had a fudgsicle? I’m not sure, but they came to mind when […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Celebrating Teachers on World Teachers' Day
      WE LOVE TEACHERS at our house all year round. From a multi-generational family of PROUD public school teachers and friends of the many, many proud, excellent teachers out there, thank you to Nik Baron at Grammarly for allowing me to share this on World Teachers' Day.,
    • Deanna Nowadnick returns with Signs in Life
      ·  ·        Book Description$12.95 Paperback: 144 pagesPublisher: Rhododendron BooksISBN: 978-0983589754Sellers: §  Amazon Print§  Barnes & Noble $1.99 EBook: 3382 KBPublisher: Rhododendron BooksISBN: 978-0983589761Sellers:§  All major digital retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble·        Tell us what you love about this bookAs you’ll learn […]
    • Carla McDougal's new book, Sold Out: Live for Jesus releases
      About the Book: Do you sometimes feel like you live to exist? Does one day seem to run into the next without much meaning? Do you want more out of life? God desires for us to live each day with meaning. From the moment we wake up, God waits for us to connect with Him. His voice calls, but do we listen? In "Sold Out: Live for Jesus," Carla McDougal […]
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    • The Color of the Season by Julianne MacLean
      NOTE:  Due to a serious need to cut back on my workload, this will be my last official book review on this blog.It doesn’t seem possible that the evening can get any worse for police officer Josh Wallace after he is dumped by the girlfriend he planned to propose to, but it does.  Josh and his partner are shot while chasing a carjacking suspect. While on the […]
    • Book Review: Swept Away (Trouble in texas Book 1) by Mary Connealy
      Ruthy MacNeil is rescued by Luke Stone after she nearly drowns fording a flooded river with a wagon train. Her step family doesn’t survive and she is finally free of their mistreatment. Luke surived the horrific ordeal as a prisoner of war in notorious Anderson prison during the civil war, only to learn that his father has been killed and the family ranch st […]
    • Book Review of Everything She Ever Wanted by Ann Rule
      When Pat Taylor wed Tom Allanson he had no way of knowing it would destroy his life in just a matter of weeksIn fact, Pat destroyed a lot of people’s lives. The attractive Southern belle was spoiled by her mother and she expected to live a lavish lifestyle at any cost. Nobody crosses Pat who was fascinated with Scarlett O’Hara. Pat could pour on the charm, b […]

    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; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, 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, 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.
  • Second Monday: Sophie Dawson

  • Tuesdays – Promotion in Motion

  • Wednesdays: Life of a Writer – April & Positivity – Lisa Lickel

  • Thursdays – Luther’s on board

  • Fridays – Revolutionary Faith, Devotions by Elaine

  • Saturdays – Janet Perez Eckles

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Posts Tagged ‘Clash of the titles’

Market Mondays: COTT Talks Tribe

Posted by Lisa Lickel on December 5, 2011

Creating a Tribe

Each year thousands, perhaps even millions, of books hit the market, making it difficult for authors to reach new readers. Successful writers know they can’t rely on their publisher to drive sales. They need to learn how to do this themselves. It sounds daunting, but it’s really quite simple. You need to find ways to connect with others, and the Internet provides the perfect tool for you to do that. But it’s not about adding to your friends list or twitter follows. It’s about building relationships, or as some call it, creating your tribe. A tribe is a close-knit body of people committed to their leader. As an author, that’s what you want—readers committed to you and your novel.

The more you engage your readers on a personal level, the greater level of loyalty they will feel toward you as an author. Find ways to encourage participation. Invite them to connect with you on Facebook, and periodically peruse your Friends list, looking for ways to engage. Perhaps you can comment on their wall posts or “Like” a comment. One kind word offered on their turf can create a lifetime of loyalty in return.

Ask open-ended questions on your blog or Web site to encourage increased audience participation. If you write a post about time management, ask your readers to offer suggestions. Then make a point to respond to their replies. This will create a sense of “family,” which translates into loyal readership. The goal is not only to create momentary sales, but also to make fans that will anticipate books two, three, four, and so on.

Occasionally, display a dash of vulnerability. Readers love to know you’re human. A few moments of self-exposure can break through cyberspace barriers by placing you on equal footing with your audience. This sense of “equality” will encourage a greater level of site participation, which ultimately translates to sale-generating loyalty.

Create your own buzz:

Here’s how we do it at Clash of the Titles. Each month we have a minimum of four participating authors hosted on our site. Each author brings his or her own traffic. It’s a win-win situation. We provide exposure for our authors, and they in turn point their readers back to us. They do this by linking to us through their Websites, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and online discussion groups. We link back to them from our site, twitter account, and Facebook pages.

Find ways to make your readers work for you:

Our authors work for us by creating continual buzz for our site. Their linking to our site helps increase our search engine ratings. Authors also initiate word-of-mouth marketing among their friends and saturate the social media networks.

Jenness Walker, coauthor of Bliss, uses book giveaways to generate audience-led marketing. At the end of author interviews, she provides four ways readers can enter the book drawings: post a link to her blog on their Facebook accounts, tweet the link, subscribe to her site, and post a comment. This ensures an ever-increasing reader base.

Utilize social networking sites:

Never underestimate the power of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Shoutlife, and other sites have a high return with zero expense. Most of the traffic we see on Reflections in Hindsight, another Website I participate in, comes from Facebook.

When Shannon Taylor Vannatter, author of White Doves, competed on COTT, she saturated the social media with links and posts. These weren’t limited to her personal wall. She posted links on numerous related sites and pages, like American Christian Fiction Writers. Take full advantage of the Facebook search engine to find related pages, and use them to promote author interviews and book signings.

Be a blessing:

One reason COTT has been successful is because we offer more than we get. Authors gain exposure; readers win books and gain a sense of power. Through this win-win blessing, our readers and authors work for us. Authors and viewers happily promote our site to readers.

And most importantly, relax and have fun. If you do that, your reader will to, and you might even create a few new friends in the process.

Posted in Author Marketing, Encouragment, Writing | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Plunging into the World of Weird and Wacky

Posted by Lisa Lickel on November 2, 2011

or How I Ended Up as editor of OtherSheep magazine

This whole thing started, really, when I wrote my second novel. Ever. Little did I know I was writing spec fiction when I dreamed up this story about a woman from a very special community that practiced the spiritual gifts in modern times. Grace had the gift of healing. Only it didn’t always work the way she thought it should The spec side of my book hit home when Jeff Gerke was the only acquisitions editor interested, and he couldn’t convince his then-employers to consider it. I thought everybody believed in miracles. I learned we do—just in unique ways. And it’s okay.

A few years later I joined a group at and traded book reviews with a very friendly, perky author. Little did I know I would enter the world of Christian vampires. I may not be the most conservative of Christians, but I always considered Bram Stoker on the other side. There are witches in the Bible, sure, even space travel and time travel and one could argue steam punk and monsters, but only the oddest of oddballs hint at human bloodsuckers. But there they were in this crazy novel, bigger than life and sentimental and…saved. Very cool. Thus began a friendship with Ellen C. Maze, whose story you’ll read in the January 2012 edition of OtherSheep.

As an editor I’m sitting on the other side of the rejection table. It’s totally no fun. I was forced to start learning how unfun it is when I joined a contest site, Clash of the Titles, as a host and had to pick contestants (from anonymous entries), telling some yes and others no. Talk about stressful. I also edit a literary magazine for the Wisconsin Writers Association. I seldom tell the members who submit an outright no, though it happens upon occasion. Mostly I can tell the authors about another market, or to fix something in the story and try again. Creative Wisconsin is a membership magazine, dedicated to showcasing membership work. It’s a joy to work with these people, many of whom are hobbyists and simply delighted to see their work in print. There’s no contracts, no money, no hard sales. I get to use my skills as a desktop publisher and I’m happy. I even get a little salary.

Written World intrigued me from the start up. I’d been invited to submit short stories to Harpstring which was fun for me during a downtime in my schedule (AKA in between novels). When I learned that OtherSheep was looking for a lead editor strictly for the magazine, I applied. And here I am. While Creative Wisconsin is more of a service, OtherSheep is a business. This leads me to ponder my role as an editor. Am I strictly in acquisitions mode? Right now OtherSheep is so new that I’ve had to go out and seek submissions, listening to pitches, and figuring out where the audience is and how to reach it. After some conversation during a company publisher panel, I feel good about deciding how I want to work with authors. Some of the unsolicited submissions are simply not spec fiction with faith elements. Those are easy to decline because I have a concrete reason. After teaching seminars on how to submit work to publishers and seeing this side, I truly understand the frustrations of authors simply not caring to check first to see if the publisher is a good fit for their work. Some of the submission are truly rough, but sparkle – those diamonds just waiting to be cut. And there I see it. If an author is willing to learn, to work with me, I am willing to mentor. I may not always have this time to show the author what I need, what they need to do, but right now I’m in a good place, sifting for diamonds and sparkling with the joy of finding those rare teachable authors.

Posted in Authors, Encouragment, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Writing | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Positivity and the Clash of Unpublished Authors

Posted by Lisa Lickel on March 5, 2011

I am a total wuss when it comes to judgment – outside my car, that is.

Telling someone else his or her writing, aka lifeblood, isn’t what I’m looking for either to purchase or to go on to the next level or to be considered in this contest makes me quiver like the bunny in the snow under my window.

So…I find myself in two precarious situations that test my mettle.

One is the ever-growing Clash of the Titles contest site, where the rewards are—a button that says “I took the COTT Challenge” or “COTT Champion,”– and hopefully a lot of new fans. Authors also get lots of kudos and affirmation, and readers get to pick which excerpt best showcases the current contest: In this case, Most Intense Emotions from authors who are unpublished. Or Pre-Published. However you choose to see it.

I had nine excerpts. I was supposed to choose two. I wussied. I said I wanted to have two clashes in one week. Apparently I wasn’t the only having trouble. The administrators told me they wanted four clashes that culminate in a month-long championship run-off, so I could have two, just over two weeks.

It was hard enough to choose four excerpts. At least I got to pre-interview each of the authors, and I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed with each of them, particularly the runner-up of this week’s clash, a Ms. Kat Heckenbach. She’s got a delightful sense of writing and attitude, and immediately picked up some nice comments and already piqued the interest of two publishers. Now that’s a winner in anyone’s book.

As I pointed out on Wednesday, Unpublished is just a state of mind. These days anyone can publish pretty much anything – even a manual on how to be a child molester. At least even Amazon realized sleazy money isn’t enough to make up for public outcry. There’s a place for vanity publishing if you’re willing to put the time and money into the project and make it come out right – as did our champion from the previous week (mighty nice lady and Reflections team member) Elaine Cooper did. Her reward? Besides the snazzy COTT champion button? She received an Honorable Mention in the Romance category in the Los Angeles Book Festival! How many ways can we say Congratulations, Elaine! Way to go.

Even I can stand back and see that having winners and runners-up and honorable mentions are cause for celebration, and it’s my joy to participate.

For the other opportunity to grow my character? Stay tuned! The Grace Awards are coming up – nominations close March 15 – so hurry! And, yes, I’m a judge.

 Next week is Read an Ebook Week! Find out how to participate here:

Posted in Authors, Encouragment, Life Experiences, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »


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