Friday, October 30, 2015


Do you like FREE? The Moses Conspiracy ebook is FREE on Amazon for a limited time. Check it out.


1.  Email. Love it? Hate it? How do you keep it from eating all your time? Check out this post by Claire Diaz-Ortiz for a great strategy on handling email. One interesting point: Deal with email when your energy levels are at their lowest point.

2.  Recipe time! I discovered this Pumpkin-Raspberry Bundt cake recipe at Lisa Lickel's blog, The Barn Door. It's just in time to practice before the big Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. If you make it, let me know how it turns out. :)

3.  Chuckle for the day: Ane Mulligan shares her Melt Down at Stitches Through Time.

4.  After almost a month of Internet problems, I got back online and was promptly swamped. How do I ever catch up? I used some of that downtime to go through old papers in my office. It was still hard to chuck some of them into the trash even though I knew I'd never have time to deal with them.

Soon after, I found this article at Book Marketing Buzz Blog. Maybe it will help you as much as it helped me.

5.  At the Philly Conference, I met Allen Arnold. He taught a continuing session on The Heart of a Storyteller. Recently, I discovered this article by him at The Writer's Alley and decided to share it with you. It encouraged me. I will do what God gifted me to do.

Writers:  Do slips of paper with ideas fall from cabinets, spill over file folders, and litter your desk like confetti? How do you handle all the many projects you'll do someday? Do you re-file them or let them go at some point?

Readers: Since we're big into recipes lately, do you have a funny (even if it wasn't funny at the time) story about cooking or kitchen mishaps? Please share. (If you don't want to share here, maybe I've given you an idea for a future blog post of your own.)

Photo Credit:  Agne Kveselyte

Monday, October 26, 2015

Are You A Character Control Freak?

Why is it that when I go to bed my brain decides to pump out all kinds of ideas for writing? Is it just me or does this happen to you as well?

A few weeks ago, I'm drifting off to sleep. My mind is tossing around ideas for an upcoming Author Event at Horsham Library, in Horsham, PA. on November 12th. Out of the blue, I get this thought about being a control freak with my characters.

Sleep did not happen right away. I gave up and turned on the light, pulled out my trusty journal, and started writing. Now that I've told you how this blog post exploded onto the page, you probably want to know what on earth it means to be a control freak with your characters.

1.  Yours truly decides to write a sequel to The Moses Conspiracy. (At that point, I still didn't know it would become a trilogy.) I mull over my idea and assign the original cast starring roles.

2.  My head is aching, and I can't get it right. "Come on, you guys, do something interesting, so I can write it down."

3.  Ellie and John fold their arms and remain silent. I face them much like a gunslinger at the OK Corral. "You are the stars of this story, and I'm the Director." (God uses some strange methods to get my attention.)

4.  I feel a gentle tap on my shoulder and hear a whisper in my ear. "This is MY story." I shrug the thought away. "Be quiet. You'll have a part, but Ellie and John get top billing."

5.  Now, no one is cooperating. It's three against one. I cave in. "Okay, okay, I'll give it a try." Jim Kenneman, my shoulder tapper, grins, and soon my fingers are flying over the computer keyboard.

And that is how The Scent of Fear was born. When feisty Kendra Marshall showed up for the next book, I knew better than to argue with HER!

Writers:  Do you force your characters to fit into a story or do you allow them some measure of freedom? Please share how you keep things humming along.

Readers: Have you ever thought of writing a book? Please share. (I hope I haven't discouraged you from undertaking the project.)

Photo Credit:  David DiBiase

Saturday, October 24, 2015


I'll be on the radio at 4:00 PM Central, 5:00 PM Eastern time, TODAY! Travis Owen Bryan, from the LIVE Show, has invited me to share about my new book, Out of the Mist, and writing.

Here's the link:

I hope you'll be able to listen. :)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pies/Contest/Lead Time/Recent Shootings/De-Clutter Treasures

1.  Lynn Simpson, at Connecting Stories, tells why she doesn't bake pies just 'cause.

2.  Are you an Indie author? Check out the Lyra Contest. This link will take you to the page with the rules.

3.  When should you begin promoting your book? Sharon Bially, at Writer Unboxed tells us why book public relations need lots of lead time.

4.  With all the recent shootings, I found this Family Research Council article quite eye opening.

5.  I chuckled at Susan's de-clutter experience. It sounds like something that would happen to me. Here's her post at Writing Straight From The Heart.

Writers:  Have you ever entered a writing contest? If so, please share your experience - positive or negative.

Readers: What kind of activities do you avoid "just 'cause?"

Photo Credit: Cheryl Empey

Monday, October 19, 2015

Author Buffet

There's something about a buffet that attracts me - the variety. I can sample a dish without purchasing a whole entree. Dessert? Ah yes, I no longer have to agonize between a hunk of chocolate cake and that yummy banana pudding. I can have a little of both and go back for a second serving.

I approach reading in much the same way. While I have my favorite go-to authors, the works of newbie writers and those who are new to me, but established, tempt my reader palate.

So what's an author/reader with limited time and finances to do?

1.  I belong to Swagbucks and pick up Amazon gift cards to increase my book budget. Amazon is always on my Wish List for Christmas and birthday gifts.

2.  When a favorite author releases a book, I pick it up.

3.  When it comes to the newbie and new-to-me authors that catch my eye, I sample their work via Kindle.

Usually, I'm reading a couple of books at a time - one print and one Kindle. If the book I'm sampling on Kindle doesn't appeal to me, I can move on to another without a huge financial/time investment.

What genre shall I sample today? Hmm, let's go with a Historical Romance.

Writers:  Do you stick to tried-and-true authors or do you give new authors a try? How do you balance your selections?

Readers:  Do you sample genres outside your normal preferences? I'd love to hear about your experiences.

Photo Credit: Sufi Nawaz

Friday, October 16, 2015

Real Life/Weed Words/Devo/Budget/Cats

1. LoRee Peery guest posts at Zoe M. McCarthy's blog. She shares about how she used her real-life experiences in writing her book. There are some great ideas here for writers and bloggers alike.

2. Are "weed words" creeping into your writing? Cyle Young guest posts at The Write Conversation.

3.  Dena Netherton writes about a new venture and Leaving the Results to God.

4.  FRC talks about the worries in Washington, D.C. about the impending budget crunch. Lobbyists are worried that any shutdown will have a negative impact on an already volatile market.

5.  Jeanette Levellie shares what she learned from her feline friends.

Writers:  What "weed words" trip you up?

Readers: If you've ever had a cat, what has it taught you?

Photo Credit:  Christoph Kurtzmann

Monday, October 12, 2015

Interview and Giveaway - Maria I. Morgan - Louie and the Leaf Pile

My guest today is Maria I. Morgan. She's generously offered to do a giveaway of her latest book, "Louie and the Leaf Pile." Check below for details.

Let's find out more about this talented author.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I guess you could say I grew up with a love for reading. My Mom read all kinds of books to my brother and me when we were young. Some of our all-time favorites were by Dr. Seuss – Green Eggs & Ham, and Sneetches on Beaches.
Although my formal education is in corporate wellness and nutrition, my real love is writing. Whether devotional material or children’s books, my hope is to share God’s truths and make an eternal difference.
A fun fact about me: even though my background is in nutrition, I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth!

You began as an inspirational writer for adults, how did you transition into writing for children?
It was really a God-thing. I had submitted a manuscript for a Bible study to a publisher. While I was waiting to hear from them, I went back through some pieces I had written previously and came across Louie’s BIG day!
And that was the beginning of the Louie the Lawnmower series.

Give us a brief overview of Louie & the Leaf Pile:
Louie the Lawnmower and his friends are back! Leaves are beginning to fall and Louie wants to be a hero. He comes up with a plan to tackle a mountain of autumn leaves. Will he succeed or will he forget a very important component? Join Louie and the gang in their all-new adventure!

What do you hope your readers glean from Louie & the Leaf Pile?
It’s so important to teach godly truths to our children. The Bible puts it this way:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Deuteronomy 6:7
I wrote Louie & the Leaf Pile to help parents/grandparents convey these concepts through a fun storyline. The book concludes with questions to stimulate conversation and help them re-emphasize biblical truths.

Where can we get a copy of your book?
Louie & the Leaf Pile is available in both print and Kindle versions. You can pick up a copy from Amazon:
And don’t forget that Louie has a website where you can sign up for a FREE audio book (Louie’s BIG day!):

Maria I. Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker. She is the award-winning author of Louie's BIG day! Regardless of the age of her audience, her goal is the same: to share God's truth and make an eternal difference. She lives in the muggy South with her husband, two retrievers, and two Maine coon kitties ~ the perfect mix to fuel her creativity for years to come.

Giveaway Details: Maria will be giving away one copy of "Louie and the Leaf Pile" (print) to one commenter. To be eligible, you must leave your email address and be a resident of the U.S. Void where prohibited. 

Disclaimer: No payment was made to this blogger for featuring the author and her book. 

Writers:  Have you ever tried to write a children's book? Please share your experience.

Readers: What kind of stories do the little ones in your life enjoy?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Conflict/Role Models/Late Bloomers/Religion/Content Editing

1.  Piper Bayard guest posts at Writers in the Storm. She explores the layers of conflict in your story. We all know that without tension, a story falls flat. If you want some ideas on how to incorporate this element into your manuscript, this is an excellent place to start.

2.  Sara Goff guest posts at Everyone's Story. I love this quote: "You might be surprised to discover that while pursuing your own goals, you are also being a role model to others. Hang in there!" You never know how your example of perseverance is encouraging others whether you're a writer or involved in some other endeavor.

3.  Are you a late bloomer? I am. Susan Panzica, at Eternity Cafe, shares her inspirational story.

4.  While Christianity and the Bible have been kicked out of public schools, guess what religion is being promoted instead? WND reports on the indoctrination of our children.

5.  Editing - a word that makes my nose wrinkle and a shiver go down my spine. A lot of writers say it's their favorite part of writing. Jean Fischer takes the mystique out of one form of editing: the Content Edit. Half the battle is knowing what to look for and how to make the necessary corrections. Thanks, Jean!

Writers and Readers: Who was your most influential role model? Please share.

Photo Credit:  Sigurd Decroos

Monday, October 5, 2015

Mini Blog Break

I've been having major troubles with the Internet for several weeks now. On Wednesday, 10/7/15, Verizon will be installing FIOS (Fiber Optic Network). Hopefully, that will fully resolve the issues.

Friday, 10/2/15 was the first night I was able to get on here without too much trouble. I'm taking a blogging break today, but my regular Friday post will be up for your reading pleasure.

Have a blessed week!

Friday, October 2, 2015


1.  Many people are going the Indie route these days. I came across this article by Brian Hutchinson, at Positive Writer.  He shares how to publish a paperback on CreateSpace.

2.  I've been debating whether or not it's time to get a website. Edie Melson, at The Write Conversation, posted on the subject and helped me make an informed decision. (I've decided to stick with my blog.)

3.  Not everyone writes novels. Many writers focus on magazine articles, devotionals, etc. Here's a great post at The Write Conversation about what it means to write on assignment and how to get there.

4.  When I saw this recipe for Crockpot Applesauce, I decided to share it with all of you. The idea of using my slow cooker to make one of my favorite things intrigued me.

5.  Dena Netherton encourages us to Be Curious. 

Writers:  Website or blog, and why?

Readers:  Curious or nosy - what do you think?

Photo Credit:  John DeBoer