Friday, February 15, 2019

Families in Fiction/Marketing Poetry/Answered Prayer/Devo/Most Searched

Paper Family

1.  Kathleen McCleary posts at Writer Unboxed on the subject of "Navigating Families in Fiction. In real life, we all experience loss, have difficult relationships, etc. This is something every novelist can apply to their writing.

2.  Karen Whiting, at The Write Conversation, talks about marketing your poetry. She has some unique ideas.

3.  Testimonies of answered prayer encourage and spark our faith. I recently read about a young girl diagnosed with an inoperable, cancerous brain tumor on Faithwire. The prognosis was grim, but God...

4.  Jean Fischer shared her experience with hearing God's voice on her Compost Pile blog. This sweet story touched my heart. I hope it blesses you as well.

5.  Last Thanksgiving, I discovered pecan pie, and I've craved it since that day. I wasn't surprised when it came up as one of the most-searched recipes of 2018 on Google. Check out this post at Delish and see what other meals made the list.

Writers:  How do you explore the complex relationships of your characters?

Readers:  How does reading testimonies or novels impact your spiritual life? Please share.

Photo Credit:  B S K

Monday, February 11, 2019

On My Kindle - The Blessing by Kacy Barnett-Gramckow

The Blessing by [Barnett-Gramckow, Kacy]

A job assignment forces May Somerville's father to relocate the family from New York City to untamed Colorado. All of their dreams are put on hold as they struggle to adjust to a new life near the gold mines.

Alexander Whittier travels throughout Europe with his parents, but he can't shake the memory of the beautiful May Somerville. Her father's reports no longer reach them, and news of their tragedies sends him hurrying to Colorado.

Will May's secret and the many hard times she's endured ruin their chances for a future together?

Kacy Barnett-Gramckow is a new-to-me author. While The Blessing started off on the slow side for me, it picked up speed. The fate of the tightly-knit family kept me engaged, while the steadfast determination of May propelled the story forward.

I'm giving The Blessing five stars for its great story and historical content. I'll be checking out this author's other books.

Disclaimer: Neither the publisher nor the author paid me for a favorable review. All opinions expressed are mine, and mine alone.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Adjectives/Literary Device/Yoga/Blessings/Home Safety


1.  Zoe M. McCarthy gives tips to improve story description when using adjectives. This skill-based post provides valuable information for both fiction and non-fiction writers.

2. Lori Hatcher posts at The Write Conversation on parallelism, a literary device. Don't let the term scare you. You've seen it multiple times. Now is your chance to define it and apply it to your own writing.

3.  Faithwire reports on a pastor's warning about a practice that is becoming increasingly popular in the United States among Christians - yoga.

4.  Henry McLaughlin posts at The Write Conversation about the blessings of being a writer. Readers, you might find this glimpse into the writer's life quite interesting.

5.  I came across a blogger called, "Plucky," who gave 3 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe This Winter.

Writers:  Which writing link did you find most helpful? Please share.

Readers:  What are some of the steps you take to keep your home safe during the winter? I recently purchased new smoke/carbon dioxide alarms for my home. My smoke alarms were very old and required constant vigilance to make sure the batteries were working. I didn't have any carbon dioxide alarms.

Photo Credit:  Fastfood

Friday, February 1, 2019

Incorrect Phrases/Powerful Antagonist/Victory/Devotional/Valentine's Day

time is going

1.  Zoe M. McCarthy talks about Incorrect Construction of Common Phrases. This was a fun read. I discovered a few that I've been using wrong.

2.  Having a powerful antagonist in your story is key to challenging your main characters no matter what the genre. Lisa Hall-Wilson gives 9 Tips For a Powerful Antagonist.

3.  Breaking Christian News reports on a victory for several Christian Ministries after a 4-Year Legal Battle regarding abortion.

4.  I've gotten into the habit of going to bed too late. Then I have trouble getting up at 5:00 AM and hit the snooze button: once, twice, ugh - three times. When I saw this article, "Escaping the Power of the Snooze Button," I had to read it. Yeah, it hit me right where I live.

5.  Valentine's Day is around the corner. I saw these cookies on FB and had to share them. Here's the tutorial.

Writers: Which common phrase tripped you up?

Readers:  When reading a book, how important is a strong antagonist to you? Please share.

Photo Credit:  Piotr Koczab

Friday, January 25, 2019

Use Words Well/Those "D" Words/China/Devo/2019 Bedroom Decor


1.  Tammy Karasek posts at The Write Conversation at using our words well. As writers, we have the potential of reaching many people.

2.  Marcia Moston posts at The Write Conversation about Disclaimers and Defamation. As writers, we need to be aware of the pitfalls writing about real people and situations.

3.  Christian Headlines reports that police in China are facing loss of their jobs if they don't arrest Christians.

4.  Once again, The Write Conversation offers words of wisdom about the disappointments we face in life. Beth Vogt urges us to stick around long enough to get something out of the inevitable situations we'd like to avoid.

5.  I checked out bedroom decorating trends for 2019 and found this website. My favorite? The cozy purple bedroom, of course! Do you have a favorite among these pictures?

Writers:  How do you make word choice decisions? Synonym Finder? Prayer? Please share how you find just the right word to express your thoughts/tell your story.

Readers:  What kind of stories do you enjoy the most?

Photo Credit:  Brenton Nicholls

Monday, January 21, 2019

On My Kindle - A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden

Lucy Drake and her brother, Nick, fight a legal battle going back to their grandfather's time. Their Uncle Thomas uses every dirty trick in the book to make their lives miserable. Both of them wonder if pursuing the case is worth the hardship and financial drain.

Sir Colin Beckwith, Head of the New York Reuters news agency has his own troubles. His dilapidated estate back in England needs far more work than he can afford. Concerns for his sister and their 90 tenants propel him into a hunt for a rich, American heiress. Once he meets Lucy Drake, he has a hard time focusing on his plan.

This historical romance by Ms. Camden contained many interesting elements. The main characters' unusual careers, the political intrigue, the romance between an ordinary young woman and a titled British gentleman all produced a captivating story. The tension and the impossibility of their situation kept me turning pages to see how it would be resolved.

There were several things that pulled me out of the story. I couldn't figure out if one character was a good guy or a bad guy. This didn't appear to be the proverbial red herring. It seemed like the writer wasn't sure how to work him into the mix. I also came across a saying, which I think is more recent than the historical setting, and it was used more than once. The villains all seemed to be without any redeeming qualities, which produced pictures in my head of a fair maiden tied to railroad tracks and an evil man twirling a mustache.

Even with the negatives, I'm still giving this book four stars. The good far outweighed any shortcomings. I'll definitely look for more of Ms. Camden's books.

Disclaimer:  Neither the author nor the publisher paid me for a favorable review. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

Writers:  When writing anything in a historical context, do you research whether or not a saying was used at that time? Please share.

Readers:  What type of situation jars your senses when reading a historical romance? Please share.

Friday, January 18, 2019

BookBub Ads/Realistic Characters/Child Euthanasia/Devo/Meat Loaf w/Bacon

Yellow flower

1.  For those of you who have a book published either traditionally or Indie, check out Anne Janzer's article on BookBub Ads to support your marketing efforts.

2.  Lori Freeland posts at Writers in The Storm regarding character development in your novel. She gives many tips on how to achieve this and bring your book to life.

3.  WND reports that Canada is embracing a culture of death. They are on the verge of passing laws permitting child euthanasia. They've already fully accepted adult euthanasia. This is where the slippery slope leads - the total devaluing of human life.

4.  Robin Lee Hatcher posts at Seriously Write on how to stay with writing for the long haul. The principles can be applied to any pursuit in life, so it's not a "writer only post." I loved the line where she said every one of her books is a book of her heart. I think you'll like this one.

5.  Brr, winter is here in the Northeast. Looking for some comfort food, I came across this recipe at Real Simple for meatloaf with bacon. It sounds good, and maybe I'll even try this one. (I can't begin to tell you how many recipes I clip and never make!) If you try it, please let me know how it comes out.

Writers:  How do you develop your characters? Do you have lengthy profiles or get to know them as you write? Please share.

Readers: What's more important to you: the characters or the plot? Why?

Photo Credit:  Sergey Klemkin

Monday, January 14, 2019

On My Kindle - A Heart's Gift: A Love's Road Home Novel by Lena Nelson Dooley

A Heart’s Gift: A Love’s Road Home Novel by [Dooley, Lena Nelson]

Lorinda Sullivan grew up in an abusive home after her mother died. When she married Mike Sullivan, her life took on new meaning. Her happiness came to an abrupt halt when news of his murder came via a neighbor.

Franklin Vine vowed he'd never give his heart to another woman. It hurt too much when she ran off with his best friend. The plight of the young widow touched his heart. He could help her get on her feet and then move on. Or so he thought...

I've been on Lena Nelson Dooley's blog and seen her around the Net. (The Christian writing community is a small world.) This is the first book I've read by this author.

The main characters were likable, and the touch of mystery added depth to the story. I wish the author had gone a little deeper with the suspense element. All in all, A Heart's Gift kept me engaged. I enjoyed the story, as well as the satisfactory conclusion.

Four starts for this novel.

Disclaimer: Neither the author nor the publisher paid me for a favorable review. As always, the opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Stumped/Red Flags/Homeschool/Devo/Fudge Recipe

Children's homes

1.  Have you ever been stumped on how to get your character out of trouble? Dr. Richard Mabry shares how he handles this problem. Check out his post at Seriously Write.

2.  Lisa Hall-Wilson gives us red flags for author intrusion in deep pov (point of view). Internal dialogue works only if it feels organic to the reader. This may seem like heavy stuff, but whether you're experienced or a newbie, you can get something out of this article.

3. reported on a Virginia county that wants to repeal a law allowing homeschooling for religious reasons. Homeschool families have long been under attack. This is just another example.

4.  Lynn J. Simpson has a devotional entitled, "Words Richer Than Gold."

5.  When that chocolate craving hits, you might want to pull out this recipe for fudge. Averie Cooks shares an uncomplicated version to satisfy your sweet tooth or treat the kids in your family.

Writers:  Do you ever get your characters into trouble and then wonder how to rescue them? Please share.

Readers:  Do you collect recipes online? Have you tried any of them? Please share your experience.

Photo Credit:  Jesus Manuel Nieto Bobadilla

Monday, January 7, 2019

Need Another Day!

Hi Everyone -

We've had a rough weekend on the homefront. Sweetie Mom pulled a muscle in her arm and has needed extra help. I've been doing what I can while nursing a migraine. Sometimes life is like that.

For those of you who write, you know how difficult things can become when life hits. If you're not on serious deadline, don't hesitate to put the writing aside for a brief time. If you are on deadline, factor in some downtime in your word count for emergencies.

My regular Friday posts are scheduled and ready to go. I'll need some grace with the Monday posts until my mother is better. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep up once we establish a routine.

Thanks for your understanding,