Saturday, February 24, 2018

Short Story Success | Wordquill article

I'm on Wordquill again! This time, with an article dedicated to the process of short story writing. Even though I've written several short stories, I still have a lot to learn in the area. Here, I'm just mentioning the starting basics. I hope they're helpful to you!

~*~*~*~
Short stories, like all aspects of the written word, have taken their rise and fall in the course of time. Today, we not only have the timeless short stories of the past, but we also see writers daily adding to the plethora of short stories on the market. The short story is not a dying art, but it just may be suffering the abuse of many thoughtless writers.  

Continue reading here...

Article at a Glimpse...
What is a short story?
Is Your Idea Short-Story Worthy?
What to Cut
And What Not to Cut
Start Your Story
Fill Your Story
End Your Story
Benefits of Writing Short Stories
Downfalls of Writing Short Stories
Write Your Short Story!




Friday, February 23, 2018

He Hideth My Soul | First Line Friday, Book Review, and Blog Tour




Once again, I'm happy to join Faith and the release of another of her books! If you like clean Christian westerns, Faith Blum is an author you may want to check out.

Before I continue with the tour, though, here's the first line!



Dear future wife,



These letters are my way of trying to keep from going deep into despondency again. At least that is my hope. In them, you will learn more about me than anyone has ever known before.


Ooh... yes, a book that begins with letters to a future wife! ;)
Share a first line, and enjoy my little portion of the tour! :)



 Connecting with Hoarding Books for First Line Friday! Hop over and connect with your first line!

~*~*~

Have you ever had a hard time loving someone? I think everyone probably has at one time in their life. But what would your life be like if you've never had the courage to love anyone? Faith Blum explores that idea in her new book, He Hideth My Soul. 

About the Book


He’s never had the courage to love anyone…

The only thing Otis Miller has ever wanted to be is a doctor and he wants to be the best. A surprise talk with his Aunt Eleanor days before his twenty-first birthday leads to a visit from his grandfather’s lawyer and the discovery that he is the heir to a large fortune. With all the papers signed, Otis heads to Chicago to follow his dream.

After graduating from Jenner Medical School, Otis goes to the mine he owns in Colorado to see how things are and to provide medical care for everyone in town. He finds horrible working conditions and learns to make difficult decisions that will be best for all

Will Otis learn to let God cover him in the depths of His love? Can Otis hide in God’s presence whenever he doesn’t know where to go next?

Note: 50% of my income from this series will go to the World Orphans organization.

About the Author

Faith Blum is a 20-something author of multiple books in various genres. She loves to write, read, play piano, knit, crochet, sew, watch movies, and spend time with her husband.  She lives in Wisconsin in a small town with her husband and cat where she can write to her heart’s content during the day. Faith’s goal in her writing is to encourage Christians in their walk with Christ.

Giveaway


Faith is giving away three prizes! The grand prize is a paperback of her new book. First and second prizes are both an eBook of He Hideth My Soul. Enter here for the chance to win!
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


My Review

Continuing Otis’s story from “Lily of the Valley” was a treat for me. He was a troubled kid who grew up into an uncertain adult—yet one whose faith was firm in the Lord. This is a sweet story about his life from about age 21-25, the surprises and sorrows, troubles and triumphs.

His marriage was one of convenience yet was so sweet! There really wasn’t a ton of extreme romance, though, which I appreciate. There were couples who fell in love and married, but the inner emotion wasn’t highlighted or dramatized.

There was a definite godly message with a clear salvation message. A lot about trusting God and clinging to His promises.

I’d recommend this to conservative readers 16 and up, maybe slightly younger.

*I received this book from the author and happily provided my honest review*



Tour Schedule

February 20
Bookish Orchestrations – Introduction Post
Creating Romance – Book Spotlight
Rachel Rossano's Words – Book Spotlight

February 21
Rebekah Lyn Books – Book Spotlight

February 22
Ruth's Real Life – Book Spotlight

February 23
With a Joyful Noise – Review
God's Peculiar Treasure Rae – Book Spotlight

February 24
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections – Post from the author

February 26
Bookish Orchestration – Giveaway winner post
 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

What have I been working on...???

I told you I'd spill the beans soon. And here I am! In video and everything. So what is my current WIP? The video is less than five minutes long.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Video Lesson Openings!

Bear with me for a moment while I get all business-like on you... but, as many of you know, music is one of my passions. Coupled with my passion for music, is my passion for teaching. And, because of the wonders of the great online, I have begun expanding my video lesson studio!


I highly endorse local teachers. Having someone in-studio with you, teaching you, and helping you learn your instrument is the best option. But sometimes, that best option just isn’t there, and you can’t find a local teacher. In that case, the age of internet is a huge blessing! Now, all you need is a good internet connection, and you can connect with a teacher miles away (in completely different time zones altogether!). For several years now, I have offered video lessons on request. This year, however, I am opening up new lesson slots on Thursdays (CST) for live piano and violin video lessons. If you’ve not been able to find a local teacher, I would love to assist you in learning your instrument! Video lessons are not for everyone, though, so I will offer a free first lesson/consultation.

Prices
30-minute lesson $15/week
45-minute lesson $22/week
60-minute lesson $27/week

Violin
I am a classically-trained violinist (Suzuki level 6) who has experimented with fiddling and ear-playing.

Piano
I have been trained in classical and ear playing. While I offer traditional keyboard instruction, I specialize in hymn improvisation and arranging.

Contact
I understand that lessons are a commitment, and I am willing to discuss expectations and desires with you before you begin.

Sample
I have recorded many of my arrangements and have uploaded them to my YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiY76Zt8MuO3IwNyY98AfGQ).

Amanda Tero

withajoyfulnoise@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Author Olympics!!

One of my FaceBook friends has started an Author Olympics to go during the winter Olympics.


I actually don't watch the Olympics because we don't have TV, but... Anita's Author Olympics have been an excellent motivator for me to do more! We get to choose our own bronze, silver, and gold goals (whether writing or researching or editing or other writing-related thing...). This has been helpful for me, as each day I've been able to evaluate what I'd likely have time for, and then make goals accordingly.

So, last Tuesday, I really low-bid it on the goals (that's what I get for making goals on a not-feeling-best day ;) ). So, I'm pleased to say that I've been able to surpass those goals!

Last week, I...
- wrote 5, 517 words!
- read 74 pages in research/writing craft books

This week, I hope to...
- write 3,000 words (average 500 words a day)
... or more ... ;)
- read 75 pages in research/writing craft books
{for the record, I think I've decided that I've read enough of The Bowyer's Bible to get me where I need to go. I've only half-finished the book and I think my reading time will be more productive elsewhere, so... *gasp!* Horror of horrors, I'm going to NOT complete a book!!!}

From my Feed
This was from last week, but I didn't feel like digging it out. ;) I took a trip to the library with my sister and came home with...


Personal library trip rule: 
Only get as many books as you can 
actually read before they need to be returned.
...
I think I can do this in three weeks... if not, 
I can call and renew for an extra three weeks. 
That’s not cheating, is it???

{for the record, I had to renew the books yesterday, and... I've only made progress in two of the books; haven't completed any of them! :P }


I’ve penned ten short stories (eight published), and this is the first time I’ve actually read something exclusively for the short-story writer. :| Actually, I wasn’t aware of these books until I saw them on my library’s shelves earlier. I’m eagerly excited to see what great tips these books hold. I just may be getting addicted to reading books on the writing craft. They’re really good, y’all! If you’re a writer, what are the best books “on writing” that you’ve read? And if you’re a writer and have NOT read books on writing... you really need to. A doctor doesn’t become a doctor by attempting surgery, but by learning first how to do it (and we’re all grateful). Sure, we can learn a lot BY writing, but we also need some experts to give us a little guidance here and there.
*okay, stepping down from my unintentional soap-box here!

For your random enjoyment:

Do you like chicken salad with 
"all the fixings?"

Since I've kept y'all semi-updated about my energy levels, this was from last Monday:


Never underestimate the beauty of a completed to-do list. This one is especially beautiful for me, because it is the first real to-do list I’ve been able to complete all year! I am SO VERY THANKFUL to have energy after being weeks of low energy (due to vitamin D and iron deficiency). Praising Jesus!!!

Now for all of my daily updates. These you probably cannot see unless you are actually on Instagram, because I put these in my stories (if I get the settings right, you can only see stories if you're following me??).




My current research-read. It's cool and very useful!






Hang in there. If I have time this week, I just might release more information on this WIP that the Lord has been giving me so many words in! :) I'll tell you this much: last week, I hit the 20,000 word mark! My original goal was 25k, but... I just may have to tweak that a little. ;)

Your Goals
I'm going to start something this week and TRY to remember to keep it up! Link-ups!! I would obviously like to hear your goals here in a comment, BUT if you have a blog and want to start staying accountable on there, link up with your goals! (let's hope I did this correctly ;) )

Monday, February 19, 2018

Scripture Graphics #79


Many Christians pursue knowledge and judgment, but they fail to root such in love. Knowledge and judgment without love only brings harm to the body and does not exalt Jesus Christ. It is not to *only* love and neglect knowledge and judgment (for that, also, brings harm), but to have the perfect balance of all three.


"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." James 3:17
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." James 1:5


I am so thankful that Jesus’ blood sufficiently covers all of my sins—known as well as unknown.


What are you praising God for today?

Saturday, February 17, 2018

How to Break Up With Your Phone | Book Review



I’ll admit, the title sold me on the book. In this technical age, most of us are phone-addicts, and most of us admit it. We realize we need to spend less time sucked into our phones and more time with real people around us, but do we change it? Usually not.

The material in this book was very thorough. For me as a conservative Christian, it had a very strong secular viewpoint with meditation, yoga, and some language that I’d prefer not to read. The information was good, though. It just did have a few other things in there.

This book covers the good, bad, and ugly of the phone. It gives principles to apply and plenty of flexibility for individual scheduling and needs. For someone who uses their phone as a pocket workspace, some suggestions like “demoting to a dumbphone” are not practical. Yet, the author still covers points to consider no matter what level we truly need to use our phones.

For the book to reach its fullest potential, the reader ought to actually do the 30-day plan in the latter half. It is a very small-step plan with easy-to-utilize suggestions.

Overall, a very practical book for today’s techies. I would hesitate to hand it to a teen because of the constant reference to phone addiction being like drug addiction (and several different types of drugs mentioned) as well as a few other words or references.

Some quotes:
“Our phones are like digital Trojan horses.”

“Americans [spend] an estimated average of more than four hours a day on their phones. If you spend four hours a day doing anything, you’re going to get pretty good at it....it’s well worth investigating what skills the hours we’re spending on our phones each day might be training us to develop—and at what cost.”


*I received this book from Blogging for Books and happily provided my honest review*

Friday, February 16, 2018

Phoebe's Light | FLF, Blog Tour, Review, Giveaway


Who likes seafaring journeys and tales of whaling? I definitely do! I also like trying new-to-me authors, which is Suzanne Woods Fisher. So I was excited to get my hands on this book. This book ended up not being in line with my tastes, but some of you may enjoy it!


First Line:
Phoebe Starbuck flung back the worn quilt, 
leapt out of bed, and hurried to the windows.

There are some fun things with this blog tour, so keep reading!
But first!
Comment with a first line from your current read!
Have you read Suzanne Woods Fisher? If so, which of her books is your favorite?



 Connecting with Hoarding Books for First Line Friday! Hop over and connect with your first line!


About the Book

Title: Phoebe’s Light

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical romance

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Marcy, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way—just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.


Click here to purchase your copy!


My Review
This was my first time to read Suzanne Woods Fisher. The era and setting intrigued me: whale-hunters in 1776? Definite yes! In ways, this book made me think of Elizabeth George Speare’s “Witch of Blackbird Pond”—likely because it hinted a lot about the superstitions and injustices done toward the Quakers in the 1600’s.

While most of the story was written from Phoebe’s perspective in 1776, she received her great-grandmother’s journal from 1658 and beyond. At the closure of each chapter, a portion of Mary’s journal was shared. I found her story to be quite intriguing.

The mystery in these pages was also interesting. I like a good mystery, and though at times you didn’t realize there was actually a mystery abroad in the community, as the pieces began falling together, I enjoyed it!

I really tried my hardest to like this book. I’ll admit I was a bit turned off on the first page when the main character used “Drat!” in her thoughts. Not only did this phrase not emerge until the 1800’s, a strict Quaker lass would not have used such a strong euphemism (if it had been used in her time). But, I seriously tried to push that away and enjoy the book… but so many cliché phrases kept bringing me back to the 1900’s, and my history brain just has a hard time with that.

There were also a lot of unanswered questions, but I realize it could just be my over-curious mind. Questions such as: if great-grandmother Mary wasn’t Quaker (and was suspicious of them) and was persuaded by other Christians to be baptized (Anabaptist), then how is it that Phoebe is strict Quaker? When in the family line did that major switch happen?

I suppose if you really like romance stories, this might appeal to you. Most people know I’m not a huge romance fan, but I can tolerate a good bit of it. The part that was just “okay” for me was Mary’s journal, where she is in love with and pining after one man while keeping company with and nourishing a friendship with another (though it is resolved that she didn’t mean anything by the friendship, the whole “I want this man and I will get him, but I don’t know how” really bothered me). But what I really had a hard time with was this book’s love triangle. I don’t dislike a love triangle, but when it is between a married couple and a third person…yeah, no. Sorry. Once a person is married, they shouldn’t be pining after their first love. The married girl shouldn’t be falling in love again with her jilted childhood love—or realizing that she never stopped loving him—while she’s married and her husband is still alive.
 *SPOILER*
There were two scenes in which the captain began undressing or started undressing Phoebe and talking of the marriage rights. A little too suggestive for my tastes. And back to the love triangle, wonderfully for Phoebe, the captain is killed, so now she can marry the man she loved since childhood. Oh, and also, the captain was already married to another woman and Phoebe is his second wife, which she discovers mid-book. I just have a problem with all of the above. I realize terrible situations happen in real life, but this is not the type of stuff I find pure and righteous for entertainment purposes.
*END OF SPOILER*

 The spiritual side of this book was really confusing. Given that it’s Quakers and Anabaptists and an era in which they were at each others’ throats and stuck on rules rather than following God, I suppose it should make sense. But it was all very vague. “Follow the Light” and “the Light is within you.” There was a casual mention of Scripture, but it was more the “wisdom of Great Mary” that was followed rather than the wisdom of God’s Word.

Like I said, I did give this book an honest go. I was prepared to like it, and I did try to. But it just wasn’t really for me.


*I received this book from Celebrate Lit and happily provided my honest review*


About the Author
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s CrossingThe Newcomer, and The Return in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.



Giveaway!
To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9e0


Blog Stops

Aryn The LibraryanFebruary 15
With a Joyful Noise, February 16
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 16
A Greater Yes, February 16
ASC Book Reviews, February 17
Locks, Hooks and BooksFebruary 17
Book by Book, February 17
Texas Book-aholic, February 18
The Power of Words, February 18
Splashes of JoyFebruary 18
A Reader’s Brain, February 19
Karen Sue Hadley, February 19
Blossoms and BlessingsFebruary 19
All of a kind Mom, February 20
Baker Kella, February 21
Mommynificent, February 21
Janices book reviews, February 21
Lighthouse Academy, February 22
Readers cozy corner, February 22
Mary Hake, February 22
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 22
Pause for Tales, February 23
Have A Wonderful Day, February 23
Faery Tales Are Real, February 23
Blogging With Carol, February 24
Among the Reads, February 24
Carpe Diem, February 24
Red Headed Book Lady, February 25
Just the Write Escape, February 25
By The Book, February 26
For The Love of Books, February 26
Margaret Kazmierczak, February 26
Simple Harvest Reads, February 26 (Guest post from Mindy)
Maureen’s Musings, February 27
Bigreadersite, February 27
Bibliophile Reviews, February 28
Pursuing Stacie, February 28

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Interview with Author Sharon Connell

Today I'd like to introduce you to an author that I met last year via a FaceBook group: Sharon Connell. I haven't read any of her books yet, but being a Louisiana girl by birth and relocated to Mississippi, her novels about hurricanes intrigue me. I had the privilege of interviewing her. If you scroll down to the end, you can find out information on her books and how to connect with her.



Me: How did you get started in writing?
Sharon: I had been corresponding with another author for years before I started writing. Whenever I would tell him what was happening in my life, he would tell me, "You need to write a book." In 2004, I was living in Pensacola, Florida when Hurricane Ivan hit. Having lived most of my life in the north, I went through a night of terror. Afterward, I told my friend what I experienced. Again, he said, "You need to write a book." This time I felt he was right. So I started writing about the hurricane. However, when I finished my story, it wasn't about the hurricane at all.  There was only a slight mention of the damage from the hurricane in the town. 

Me: What was your first story idea--and is it published?
Sharon: Paths of Righteousness was that first story idea spawned by the hurricane, but it turned into a romantic story about a girl who worked in a doctor's office and her traumatic life. It was published in 2014, but I'm now rewriting the story into the deep point of view style to make it a better read.

Me: What are your goals in writing? Who do you hope to reach? What do you hope to accomplish?
Sharon: My goal is to write as many books as I can in the time given here on earth. I plan to reach as many people as I can with my stories of hope, God's mercy, His love, and the gospel message. 

Me: Tell us a little bit about your newest release!
Sharon: My last release, out November of 2017, is A Very Present Help. It was written after Paths of Righteousness, but was the first book I had published, and actually started out as a short story. When it grew into a full novel, I decided to attempt publishing it first because I had stolen one of the characters from Paths of Righteousness. A Very Present Help is about a young teacher who is engaged to her childhood sweetheart. She finds that life doesn't always turn out the way you think it will. As problems arise, she struggles with her own faith in God because of the things He allows to happen in her life. She fears that He has forgotten all about her. There is a lot of suspense as well as romance in this story.

Me: Would you mind sharing your salvation testimony with us?
Sharon: Are you kidding. I love to share it. 

I was a preteen going to a girl's club called Pioneer Girls at a Bible Church in Chicago when the Teen Club from that church invited all the preteens to attend their yearly retreat. It was in February of 1958, in a camp called Camp Wonderland on Lake Michigan. And yes, it was frozen over. LOL I was twelve years old. 

After a day of fun in the snow, and then dinner, we gathered together to hear one of the teen club counselors deliver a message. All I remember was fidgeting. I knew I was a sinner. He didn't have to tell me that. But I resisted the invitation for salvation at the end of the message.

After some snacks, our little group of girls from the girl's club went back to the room they had given us. We all got ready for bed, but before light's out, our own counselor, Jan Wynn (I'll never forget her name), decided to add her own words to the message from that night. When she asked where we thought we'd be if we died that night, it pierced my heart. She explained what Jesus had experienced on the cross, and why. When she said He did it all for me, my heart broke. Along with a couple of my friends, I bowed my head there in the bottom bunk and asked Jesus to come into my heart and save me. I told him I knew I'd never get to heaven on my own, and I needed His Blood to cover my sins. When I opened my eyes, I remember taking a deep cleansing breath of relief. I wasn't going to wind up in hell.
Me: I'd like my readers to get to know you a little better! What are three of your favorite things to do?
Sharon: 1. Write, 2. Read, 3. Garden

Me: Who is your favorite author?
Sharon: My #1 favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien, with Jane Austen coming in a very close second.

Me: What is one thing you'd tell aspiring writers?
Sharon: Don't...no matter what you hear or read...don't let anyone discourage you if you know you should be writing. Get the story down. Don't worry about the grammar, the structure, the mistakes you'll make. Get the story down. Then go back and make it the best story you can write.

Connect with Sharon
Author’s book page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/averypresenthelpbook1
American Christian Fiction Writers: https://www.acfw.com/
Blogging on WordPress: https://sharonkconnell.wordpress.com/

Book links:
His Perfect Love http://amzn.to/2iCMALI
A Very Present Help http://amzn.to/2yuF4eE  Kindle http://amzn.to/2AjdYU3
Book trailers:
His Perfect Love by Sharon K. Connell https://youtu.be/e3tRr6mLzZk
A Very Present Help by SharonKConnell https://youtu.be/wYyoOE5IzS0 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...