Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Book Pusher: August

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FACE THE CHANGE Samantha Bryant: SF

The third installment in the "Menopausal Superheroes" series is a fitting addition to a creative storyline. Read the first two and come to this one, ready to enjoy!



THE RULES OF HALF Jenna Patrick: Family and Women's Fiction

How hard it is to live where everyone knows you're crazy and treats you as the town pariah? Will Fletcher knows. And the women who love him fight to protect and care for him. Fabulous Read!


A FRAGILE HOPE Cynthia Ruchti: Christian Women's Fcition

How I love everyone of Ruchti's books, but A Fragile Hope is the best yet. Josiah and Karin Chamberlain's story of love, hope, and growth is as good as it gets. Don't wait! Read this one Now! 


REDEEMING LOVE Francine Rivers: Christian Historical Romance and Women's Fiction

With this inspired retelling of the Bible's "Hosea" in the gold fields of California, Rivers opens up the truth of grace and forgiveness for many. This is an other title, but worth the read any day.


BEFORE WE WERE YOURS Lisa Wingate: Women's Fiction

All families have stories from their past, but should secrets be hidden from the descendants? For the children of the Acadia, Wingate answers a resounding no! Excellent read!

Next Post: IWSG 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

IWSG: August

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Insecure Writers Support Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Co-Hosts: Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor Yvonne Ventresca LG Keltner


July Question:
What are your pet peeves when reading/ writing/ editing?

1. Having to edit out And, But, Now, Well, and Oh at the beginning of nearly every dialogue line. You'd think that by now, I'd stop clearing my rhetorical throat.

2. Editing every book I read. Again, you'd think I'd understand that I can't affect the page I'm reading after it's published. (Worse yet--rereading my own published things. Oh. My. Goodness!)

3. Twiddling my pen/keyboard for hours for four measly little words. I'd be happy with ten. Nah! Don't you even think it.

4. Since I draft in the pantsing style, I find editing threads together to be a bit on the onerous side. Unfortunately, I'm a bit stuck in this style. Though, I will read Lisa Cron's STORY GENIUS as I draft the next novel. I think... 

5. Having to cut really great scenes because of # 4. Sigh.

What are your pet peeves in this great game of wordsmithing?

Once again, I apologize for not getting around to other IWSG blogs. Chronic Pain and Fatigue is a nasty taskmaster.  


Links:
Must Read: "The Two Demons of Despair"--I can't think of a better link for IWSG!

"You're Aren't Lazy--You're Just Terrified"--Great article that explains so much!

"7 Tips to Help you Write When You Don't Feel Like It"--Another great article!

"What is the Theme of a Your Story?"--This one is super helpful!

"How to Write in Deep POV + get into the mind of your character" is another excellent link.

And here's a big dose of truth about writing--"Writing Through Life's Stages"

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Book Pusher: July

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The more books, the merrier your summer will be! 


THE STONE NECKLACE Carla Damron: Women's Fiction

Mitch Hastings is a braided cord that ties this cast of wonderful characters together--each with their own demons, but potential to live a fuller life. Great read!


LOOKING GLASS LIES Varina Denman: Women's Fiction

Cecily Ross's self esteem has taken a beating and she has fallen into the depths. Her climb to the heights is inspiring and truthful. Good read.


BEFORE THE RAIN FALLS Camille Di Maio: Women's Fiction

This is a fabulous story of love, sacrifice, and redemption. Della Lee's story will break your heart and mend it all at the same time. An absolutely must read.


LIFE AFTER Katie Ganshert: Christian Women's Fiction

Learning to ask who, not why is at the heart of Autumn and Paul's story. This one is a Must Read Now!


A NEST OF SPARROWS Deborah Raney: Christian Fiction

Life is a long, winding journey toward home and Wade Sullivan's is one of the most rewarding. Raney has crafted a story of heart, love, and concern. Good read


AS WATERS GONE BY Cynthia Ruchti: Christian Women's Fiction

The journey from despair to hope is a long one, and Ruchti's characters are rich, inviting, and forgiving. Lovely story! Told exceedingly well! Must Read

Next Post: Insecure Writers Support Group!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IWSG: July

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Insecure Writers Support Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Co-Hosts: Tamara Narayan, Pat Hatt, Patricia Lynne, Juneta Key, Doreen McGettigan








July Question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

Surprise! I can't come up with a short answer. ;-)


Limiting the answer to one valuable lesson is hard, because there is so much I'm learned through writing. To make a value judgement though, I'll say the most valuable one is to trust my voice--in all aspects. When I write, I know my values and life experience comes into play. Trusting myself to express that is key to being able to tell a story that holds interest. Creating characters who are individuals requires that I trust my creations to hold together. All of that depends on my trust of my voice--the one that underlies all I do. Learning this lesson has made writing more fluid, rewarding, and exciting. All in all, that's a victory over self doubt, don't you think?


And remember--errors are just opportunities to improve. 

Next Post: Why The Book Pusher's July Mini Book Reviews!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Book Pusher: June

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It's Summertime and the books are here! Go to the beach, mountains, deck, backyard--I'm not picky--and read! ;-)


LAND OF SILENCE Tessa Afshar: Christian Women's Fiction

Like a tapestry, Land of Silence has to be woven from disparate threads. Afshar's talent for weaving Biblical truth and stellar storytelling will leave you breathless. Read it now!

THE HIDEAWAY Lauren K. Denton: Women's Fiction

Family secrets and enduring love, both past and present, are tucked into every room and crevice of The Hideaway. Sara Jenkins must uncover her grandmother Mag's life to find her own life. Wonderful read!


THE SISTERS OF BLUE MOUNTAIN Karen Katchur: Women's Fiction

How many secrets does it take to create an avalanche? Katchur's mystery has as many twists as a mountain road. Great read!

THE DISTANCE HOME Orly Konig: Women's Fiction

Emma Metz must find the path home through loneliness, loss, and rejection, but the destination is all the sweeter once she reaches her safe harbor and destined home.

ELISHEVA: PART I--THE PRICE Michelle Levigne: Christian Women's Fiction

In the tradition of older novel's like The Robe, Levigne's first century residents experience Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. Relive this story of life with these vivid characters and find hope in the story that gives life.


A BRIDGE ACROSS THE OCEAN Susan Meisner: Women's Fiction

With multiple POVs and timelines, Meisner weaves another spell-binding story with war brides, with their stories of love and resistance, and a present day woman with the gift that ties them together in amazing ways.


Links:
Pansters unite! "The Case for Writing a Story Before You Know How it Ends"

"One Habit Every Writer Needs Right Now" I'm so big on goals--tiny, small, medium, or large--that I help other writers make and keep them at the Community CompuServe Books and Writers Forum. Truly this link will change your writing.

And queries, of course--"How to Immediately Improve Your Query Letter's Effectiveness"

Next post: Insecure Writers Support Group, of course!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June IWSG:

{Note to followers: if you want an email when a new post goes up, go the right column and subscribe for emails. Thanks.}


Insecure Writers Support Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Co-Hosts:
JH Moncrieff
Madeline Mora-Summonte
Jen Chandler
Megan Morgan
Heather Gardner



June Question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

Ha! Many times, I've tried to quit when the words stopped coming. When I ran into rejections. When I wearied of the entire run-around that can be seeking representation. 

But, I can't. Try as hard as I have tried to quit at times, I can't shake the feeling that I'm meant to write. And meant to write the stories I've been inspired to write. Here's the thing, I write Inspirational stories. For years, I tried to fool myself that I wrote enough to the ABA side of the market to pick up an agent of that style books, it wasn't meant to be. The last agent I pitched and queried, praised my writing, but called a spade a spade--"your writing leans to the Christian market, and I don't have the contacts to sell it." 

Did that make me want to quit? Not this time. I retooled my thinking, started my hunt for conferences that showcase agents for the Christian market, and I'm in it for the long haul. I'll never doubt this journey isn't path I'm destined to walk. 

Links!

Great Ideas! "13 Ways to Support an Author Without Ever Spending a Dime"

In an general, life affirming way, I offer--"How to Complain Less"--We all need this one.

And another oh, so important one for the care and feeding of writers--"Your Body is as Important as Your Mind"

Next Post: Why the Book Pusher post for June, of course! ;-)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Book Pusher: May

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You know you need books for the summer... ;-)


THE TASTE OF AIR Gail Cleare: Women's Fiction

Life is short. Be happy. How long does it take to learn this deceptively simple idea? For Mary Reilly and her daughters it takes a cottage in Vermont.


LOOK LIVE Patricia McLinn: Mystery

With another snappily plotted mystery, McLinn extends her Caught Dead in Wyoming series into high tech and missing sons.



THE SCARLETT THREAD Francine Rivers: Christian Women's Fiction

Good story in an older style. A CBA classic. This is one of the best Christian Women's Fiction title available. Be sure to read with the time it was written in mind. 


UNSTRUNG Laura Spinella: Women's Fiction

This is one of the most amazing books I've read lately. Olivia Klein's life is both haunting and uplifting. I'm amazing and transported as only singing choral music has in my life. Her main character is a symphony violinist, and Spinella describes the feeling of providing the door knob into Heaven that I've experienced singing in a choir. An amazing read. Get this one! Read it now! You'll never forget it.

What are you afraid of? Check out "Time to be Honest About the Fear That's Getting in Your Way".

"How to Embrace Your Strengths--and Flaws--To Find Your Writing Voice" says it all.

By all means, read Chip MacGregor's answers for writers' questions.

Check this one out, too! "Literary Agents Aren't Dead, Part 1"

Next Post: IWSG, of course!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day: My Momma Had Words With Me

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Momma with my siblings and me
I do post this every year, but this year it's even more special. On April 29, I was honored to read "My Momma Had Words With Me" at Atlanta's Listen To Your Mother show.

Momma, I love you and honor your gift of the love of reading. And always will.
My Momma Had Words with Me


            I don’t know if it’s true anywhere else, but in the South, to “have words with” someone means to fuss, argue, or reprimand. My momma had another purpose for having words with me, for me, and around me. We didn’t discuss why people read or why it was important. My siblings and I just read. The power, magic, and glory of words surrounded us. No lectures were needed. No punishment was forthcoming to make us read. It was second nature to read. After all, our parents read in front of us every day. Momma focused on fiction while Daddy read the newspaper, biographies, and his professional journals.
So, it was all Momma’s fault that my father-in-law was shocked when my daddy built bookshelves that covered half the walls in our study from the floor to ten-foot ceiling. With wide eyes, he said, “No one has that many books!”
            My husband shrugged. “She does. Everyone in her family does.” He knew there would be no wasted space in our study.
            It was Momma’s fault that we take delight in words. She gave us no choice in the matter. From the time we were toddlers, we all had library cards and joined the summer reading program at the regional library branch in our home town. Every week, we checked out five books. All the librarians knew us by name.
How do you feed a growing reading habit? Momma knew. She made sure there were books to read that challenged us. She made reading more books fun and expected. When our abilities to read outstripped our ages and we needed bigger, more complex books, Momma checked out adult books for us on her own library card. As the school librarian at my elementary school, she found harder and harder books for me to read when I had read everything at the lower levels. I clearly remember reading Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson in the fifth grade. It was my first adult novel and I’ll never forget holding the large book and being carried away into the Southwest by the words.
In time, my siblings and I found our own preferred genres. When given a list of three hundred books for college-bound students in the 1960’s, we attacked it from different angles. The fact that the complete works of Shakespeare and the great Greek historians were available in our home, made it easy to get started. My sister loves literature. My brother has a taste for biography, science, history, and true life adventure books. I read history, fiction of all types, and poetry.
            As voracious readers, we are the people who keep bookstores—large, small and online—in business. We are the people who always have up-to-date library cards. Our to-be-read lists of new books and old favorites are extensive. None of us is bored as long as there is something to read. And that isn’t likely to happen if we live a thousand years.
            It’s Momma’s fault that there is a longstanding family joke about the end of civilization. If an asteroid or other near extinction event occurred, our combined libraries would form the basis for restarting science, math, history, and literature. We could quickly raise man’s knowledge back to its former heights.
            The majesty and beauty of the words I grew up with created the desire to shape and form my own stories, to create new adventures, new people to meet, and new places to go. Momma encouraged me. She kept the poetry I wrote as an eight-year-old. Her simple acceptance made no obstacle insurmountable. Her faith that I could do anything I wanted allowed me to experiment and try different styles. She not only taught me to love words, but the persistence it takes to shape, order, and arrange them in coherent ways. When she gave me the love of words, she gave me the tools to accomplish what I desired to do. She gave me the ability to tell stories that soothe hurts, inspire challenges, and entertain. My mother gave me life—physically, mentally, and emotionally. She gave me dreams and encouraged me to strive to reach for them. My mother gave me words to share and the persistence to achieve the dream of being a writer. She still encourages me to write and inspires me with her own voracious reading.
            Thank you, Momma, for having words with me. I love you.