Friday, August 30, 2019

Excellence/Dialogue/Life Begins/Devo/Veggie Gardening

Five golden stars isolated

1.  Tammy Karasek posts at The Write Conversation about giving your best when you write. Do you allow a deadline, a bad mood, or anything else to prevent you from giving your best to the reader?

2.  Zoe M. McCarthy gives us a delightful blog post on writing dialogue. Have you ever read a book where the character uses a word of phrase that doesn't fit their age or time period? It pulls you out of the story, right? All skills levels will benefit from this post.

3.  WND reports on a survey of biologists concerning when life begins. This article nails it.

4.  Michael K. Reynolds writes about the easiest way to thank God. I often link to his devotionals because they resonate with me. Perhaps they'll bless you as well.

5.  Plant Care Today has an article on 8 Things Not to Do in the Vegetable Garden. Years ago, a relative created a massive garden plot when they wanted some lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers for summer salads. The resulting crop necessitated a crash course in canning.

Writers:  Which writing post helped you the most? Why?

Readers:  Do you have any examples of characters saying things that didn't fit their time period or age? Please share.

Photo Credit: elementa1

Monday, August 26, 2019

On My Kindle - The Edge of Mercy by Heidi Chiavaroli

The Edge of Mercy

Sarah and Matt's marriage teeters on the edge of a cliff. After a less-than-perfect start, they'd settled into a routine. Now, Matt is looking for all he thought was missing from his life.

A neighbor dies and leaves Sarah instructions to find her daughter. She wants Mary to know about her heritage. In the process, Sarah learns a lot about herself through the diary of a woman who lived in the Colonial days.

Although I'd heard of the author, this was the first book I'd read by her. Her characters jumped off the page, their struggles, emotions, and actions all strong and truthful. I'll be looking for more of her books.

5 Stars.

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

Writers:  If you write novels, have you every considered doing a time-slip story? (A time-slip story is one with characters from the past and present.) Please share.

Readers:  Do you enjoy stories than meld the historical with the contemporary? Please share your thoughts.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Reviews/Marketing Myths/Chick-fil-A/Speakers/Drying Herbs

Books design

1.  Amazon reviews affect readers' buying decisions. How do you get those reviews for your book? Check out Penny Sansevieri's article at Jane Friedman's blog.

2.  Lisa Hall Wilson talks about 6 Marketing Myths That Harm Fiction Writers. The Internet and the publishing industry seem to be changing at warp speed. Methods that were the gold standard years ago do not necessarily apply today. Check out her post.

3.  Faithwire tells how Chick-fil-A almost shut down in the 1980's. See what turned their business into a success. They are now the third largest restaurant chain.

4.  Yvonne Ortega posts at The Write Conversation on Spiritual Preparation for Speakers. Whether you're an author, minister, teacher, or counselor, this article can benefit you.

5.  If you use herbs in your cooking, you might like this article on how to dry them without sacrificing flavor. The Backyard Garden Lover gives several methods that produce excellent results.

Writers:  Which marketing myths surprised you? Please share.

Readers:  Do you review books on Amazon or other sellers? Please share.

Photo Credit:  Ana Labate

Monday, August 19, 2019

On My Kindle - Perilous Treasure by Dan Walsh

Perilous Treasure (Jack Turner Suspense Series Book 4) by [Walsh, Dan]

Trouble has a way of finding history professor, Jack Turner, much to his wife's chagrin. His friend, Detective Joe Boyd, discovers a great way to de-stress and get some exercise - metal detecting. The surrounding property in Culpepper, Georgia provides many opportunities to discover Civil War relics.

Jack goes to a club meeting with Joe and meets other metal-detecting enthusiasts. His meet-and-greet speech includes his specialty of WWII history. When two old codgers in the group make a startling discovery during one of their outings, they 're reminded of Jack's expertise.

They're not the only ones interested in the treasure. Inquiries on the Internet put them in touch with a fine arts dealer, but they get more than they expect - a boatload of trouble.

Dan Walsh has a knack for creating likable, interesting characters. Both Jack Turner and Joe Boyd are the kind of people you'd want for friends. A peek at Joe's family gives the reader insight into his family life, as well as his professional life as a detective.

The author's other talent is creating heart-stopping suspense. You can see the tension building and know you're in for one wild ride once everything breaks loose.

This is the fourth book in the Jack Turner series. While it's helpful to read the other books, it's not essential. This is a stand-alone novel.

Five stars!

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

Writers:  If you write fiction, do any of your characters have an interesting hobby? Please share.

Readers:  Do you enjoy the suspense genre? Who are your favorite authors?

Friday, August 16, 2019

Word Genius/Vocabulary/Hospice/Devo/Rare Succulent


1.  Words - both writers and readers love them. I found a site called, "Word Genius." I get an email daily with a specific word and its definition. On the website, you'll find a blog, a daily quiz, and a lot of words.

2.  Tim Suddeth posts at The Write Conversation on, "5 Tips To Grow Your Vocabulary." (I think we have a theme going on here!)

3. Do you think unborn babies and infants are the only ones in danger? Think again. I saw this article on Life Site News about a 103-year-old woman detained in a hospice against her will.

4. Edie Melson, at The Write Conversation, talks about recognizing God's provision. In the article she mentions her gratitude journal. It reminds me of a game a friend and I often played. We'd list all the things we were grateful for. The one who had the most items at the end won.

5.  I've always been drawn to succulent, my first being a Jade plant. Hip2behome ran a post about a rare succulent that looks almost exactly like a rose. There's also a link to where you can buy one. I.Must.Check.This.Out.

Writers:  How do you improve your vocabulary?

Readers:  What effect has reading had on your vocabulary/general knowledge?

Photo Credit: Brenton Nicholls

Monday, August 12, 2019

On My Kindle - Beguiled by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand

Beguiled by [Gist, Deeanne, Bertrand, J. Mark]

Spooked by burglaries in a wealthy Charleston community, Dogwalker Rylee Monroe calls the police on two men in the park. Her mastiff doggie friend charges one of them, and he escapes by climbing onto a monument.

It's all a big misunderstanding. The man, Logan Woods, is a reporter for the local paper. The detective responding becomes suspicious of Rylee and sets out to prove she's the burglar.

This story started off slowly for me, but then took off like a bullet. The authors kept the tension high through the balance of the story. I did guess whodunit, but there was some doubt along the way. If you enjoy romantic suspense, you'll find this a satisfying read.

I'm giving Beguiled five stars.

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

Writers:  Two authors of different genres teamed up to write this book. Have you considered co-writing a book with another author? Please share.

Readers:  Have you read books with two authors? Did you like them or not? Please share.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Opening Scene/Staying on Track/Supreme Court Judge/Devo/Alternative Housing

Hot type

1. The hardest part of writing a novel is the opening scene. Janice Hardy, at Writers in the Storm, gives insight regarding this process. The opening scene will either hook a reader or send them running away.

2. The publishing industry can often be frustrating. Martin Wiles posts at The Write Conversation and shares tips on how to stay on track.

3. Supreme Court Judge, Clarence Thomas, speaks out against abortion. See the entire story at Christian Headlines.

4. I enjoyed Rhonda Rhea's post entitled, "No Other Name." Many of us can relate to a Mom or Grandma going through a whole list of names before hitting on  the right one. However, there's  one  name for which there's no substitute.

5.  I came across this blog post on Hip2Save about homes made out of shipping containers. They're an affordable alternative to traditional housing. Right now, they're only available in Texas, but the company plans to expand to other states. (P.S. It's actually on Hip2behome, but I didn't want to mess up the link I'd already inserted.)

Writers:  The opening of any article or novel makes most writers break into a cold sweat. What are some of the ways you craft a great hook?

Readers:  Please share your thoughts on how a first page affects your desire to read the entire article/book.

Photo Credit: Andrew Bierle

Monday, August 5, 2019

On My Kindle - Unintended Consequences by Dan Walsh

Unintended Consequences (Jack Turner Suspense Series Book 3)

Jack Turner and his bride, Rachel, include a stop at his grandmother's house during their honeymoon trip. He's unexpectedly called away on an emergency, so Rachel stays with his grandmother for a couple of days.

Renee Turner shares the amazing love story that took place during WWII in England and France. Dan Walsh knows how to tell a good story. I blasted through this book in record time.

Unintended Consequences is the third book in the Jack Turner suspense series. It's different from the other books because it focuses on Jack's grandparents. However, you can see where the younger man got his thirst for adventure and love of history.

5 Stars - You'll be fine if you pick up Book 3, but it's so much better to read a series in order. I just picked up the next book in  the series and can't wait to dig into it. :)

Writers:  Have you ever thought of writing a series? Please share.

Readers:  How do you approach series books? Do you wait for all of them to be available before starting or do you read each one as it's released?

Friday, August 2, 2019

Writing Focus/Character Building/Supreme Court/Devo/A Blogger's Thoughts


1.  Edie Melson, at The Write Conversation, gives 7 tips on how to focus your writer's eye.

2.  Zoe M. McCarthy gives such easy-to-follow advice about writing. In this post, she talks about building a protagonist's character.

3.  WND reports that Justice Clarence Thomas (Supreme Court) is urging that "Demonstrably Erroneous Precedents" be overturned.

4.  Fear is a paralyzing, tormenting emotion. Brook Espinoza, at CBN Devotions wrote an excellent devotion on victory over fear.

5.  Linda O'Connell shares pictures of her grands and has some excellent advice for all of us.

Writers:  If you write fiction, how do you build your protagonist's character?

Readers:  Which link was your favorite this week? Please share.

Photo Credit: Erik Dungan