Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back to "normal" (whatever that is)

Now that the Summer Reading Blog Tour is over, I'll return to posting stuff for writers.

Today I'd like to share with you two blogs:

Kristen Lamb's most recent blog,"Reduce Stress, Increase Joy & Productivity- Why Is It So HARD?" hit me where I needed it. I've been feeling stressed lately - a result of a combination of things - and I so needed her words. I find myself thinking about the cabin that was our summer vacation spot when I was growing up. My BFF and her husband own it now, and my husband and I are joining them for a weekend in August. I am looking forward to relaxing, unwinding, recharging, and not having a do list or schedule.

Andy Scheer, an agent for Hartline Literary Agency, wrote a great piece that resonated with me, and I'm sure all you pantsers out there will love: "All Star Jazz." I'm all for letting the muse dance as she will.


HHP has revamped their website and blog, and, added a newsletter to help keep both readers and writers up-to-date. Check them out - the links are in the right margin.

If you're looking for a publisher to submit your work to, check out Helping Hands Press (my publisher). Click here for the submission guidelines.



I'm really excited about the way Christian Writers Guild has revamped their courses, making them more doable and affordable.

"If you wish to write professionally, either full- or part-time, these courses will give you a solid foundation. Step-by-step, you’ll learn to produce and polish words that touch lives. Each course prepares you for the next." - CWG website

WEBINARS are one-hour writing classes you take from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. You can tune in live or download them at a time that's most convenient to you. "Offered twice a month, it’s like attending a writers conference in your home." (CWG website)  Click here to see a list of past webinars.

WRITING FOR THE SOUL CONFERENCE has gone on the road, being held in different parts of the country: "Writing for the Soul will now be more accessible in terms of cost, timing, and convenient venues around the country. We’re targeting book authors with classes in three areas: how to write your book, publish your book, and market your book." (CWG website)

The next one is Sept. 19-20 in Murfreesboro, TN. Click here for more information.

That's it for today.

Happy writing,

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer reading, Day 14

Today is the last day for the Summer Reading Blog Tour. I hope you've enjoyed browsing this virtual library and have discovered new titles and authors to enjoy.

Today we meet Louellen Friesen, a 25-year-old Amish wife trapped in a loveless marriage, in Marsha Hubler's Amish/Mennonite novel, Love Song for Louellen:

1. What is your name? Mrs. Louellen Friesen
2. What one word best describes you? Forgiven
3. How do you first become involved in this novel? I make my entrance on the first page. I am cleaning house for an “English” doctor, David McAndrew, and, God forgive me, I have strong feelings for this man even though I’m married to Eli Friesen.
4. What worries you? I am childless, which is a blight in the Mennonite community. I worry that I’ll never have children.

Continue reading . . . 

Book Description

December 22, 2013
Twenty-five-year-old Amish Louellen Friesen finds herself falling in love with forty-year-old Englishman Dr. David McAndrew, a widower with two children, for whom she cleans house regularly in Mapletown, Snyder County, Pennsylvania. There’s only one problem. Louellen is already married.

Well past the “marrying age” at twenty-two, Louellen Bidleman had wed Amish man Eli Friesen three years prior, mostly because of pressure from her family. Eli, also in his mid-twenties and in danger of being “passed over,” had married Louellen for one main reason, to have sons.

Louellen has some love for Eli, but because of her church vows, sets out to be the best wife and mother she can be, especially when God blesses them with little ones. However, after three years, there are no children. Louellen is devastated, and Eli becomes bitter, feeling trapped in a marriage that has produced no offspring even though he knows that he has the medical problem, not his wife. Although he treats Louellen civil in public, at home he ignores her needs, and their wedded life is nothing but a disappointment to both.

What should Louellen do? Turn her back on her husband and her Amish Ordnung? Should she leave, become “English,” and marry Dr. McAndrew, a man who has promised her the moon?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer reading, Day 13

Today we'll meet Verity Wilde, the main character in I.O. Kirkwood's series, The Needless:

My name is Verity Wilde. No nickname though some people try to get away with Veri. Just say the short name and my last name together and you’ll figure out why I’m not happy about it. What was my mother thinking?  Continue reading . . . 

Book Description

Verity Wilde joins the Gamer's club that’s led by a 17-year old Junior named Hendrix Cobain (gamer handle: Dead Rockstar) and includes three other unlikely members: Chad “StayPuff” Fulton, Alexi “Chameleon” Parma, and Mike “Bruiser” Cruise. Together they go on magical quests, slay mythical monsters, discover surprising inner strengths, and test outmoded beliefs. Overcoming challenges together, they find friendship and acceptance. After “Bruiser,” the most unpleasant member of the club, disappears in the middle of a game, Veri and the gang have to find him. To do that they’ll have to win each level, fighting bigger and scarier foes along the way, until they face off with the Big Boss.
July 2, 2014

One more day left on the Summer Reading Blog Tour!

Tuesday  July 29 – Marsha Hubler

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer reading, Day 12

Today we meet Jai, born with useless eyes - and one of author Mark Venturini's favorite characters in his fantasy novel, Whispers from Forbidden Earth:

My name is Jai. I was born as you see me, with useless eyes. Yet I see in ways very few can. Perhaps I’m the only one still alive on the vast world of Eversong with spirit-sight. I don’t know. I have not sensed anyone else for many years. Continue reading . . . 


Monday  July 28 – Iola Kirkwood
Tuesday  July 29 – Marsha Hubler

I hope you've discovered some fun new authors to read!

Happy reading,