"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Love Unexpected (Beacons of Hope) by Jody Hedlund

*Sigh* I always enjoy opening a new Jody Hedlund book, and I always hate finishing them. Each time I read one of her novels I feel she can’t possibly top the tale. However, she never fails to make me fall in love with another main character. Her skill as an author and her devotion to the Lord become more apparent with each publication. My only complaint is that I have to wait three more months for another of her new releases. If you enjoy Christian romance, you must pick up Love Unexpected.

Set in 1859 - Presque Isle, Michigan

What Is the Secret That Could Shipwreck Both of Their Lives?

All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she's left destitute and with no place to stay.

An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town. He's just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child. So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other's dilemma. After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger. Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, as well as managing a household.

Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife's death. It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once more into turbulent waters.
Not sure you want to spend the money to try a new author? You can still download her novella Out of the Storm for FREE!

An Uncertain Choice, Hedlund’s first YA novel, will release in March. Hearts Made Whole, the second in her Beacons of Hope series, will release in June.
To learn more about this amazing author, you can visit her website: http://jodyhedlund.com/ Interested in becoming a writer? Check out her very informative blog: http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com/

What books have you enjoyed this year? I’m looking for a great nonfiction read – any suggestions?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Last Submission Opportunities for 2014

ESSAY MAMA CHRISTMAS WRITING AWARD http://www.essaymama.com/blog/essaymamas-christmas-writing-contest/ NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline December 25, 2014. The 15 best works will be added to the printed "Best EssayMama's Stories: Christmas Edition" book and published on the best resources for writers. $330 will be given to each of the top three writers. Limit one story. Limit 4,000 words. Topic Christmas.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Time to Thrive This title deliberately has a double meaning: 1) You need to make time in your busy life to thrive; and 2) It's time to thrive-no more putting off those life changes you know you should make. If you have a story about taking time to thrive, i.e. pursue a passion, find your purpose, improve your wellbeing, or if you realized it was time to thrive and you did something about it, we want to hear from you. Were you stuck in the same old routine for years? Did you feel that your life had no purpose? What did you do to transform yourself and create balance and meaning in your life? Did you start a completely new career, have a travel adventure or find a new hobby? Was it a new love interest or an attitude adjustment that helped you thrive? We want to hear your stories. Stories can be serious or funny, but we definitely want them to inspire our readers to take that first step towards happiness, fulfillment, and growth. The deadline for story and poem submissions is December 31, 2014. http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Support for Therapists/Mental Health Professionals Therapists and mental health counselors listen to people's problems all day. But where's the "chicken soup for the soul" for them? Who supports the therapists and mental health professionals? We’re looking for stories from therapists and mental health professionals about how you get through your day. How do you separate your clients' pain from your own life? Share your advice and support with your colleagues. And if you have been client of one of these fine professionals and you want to tell them how much they helped you, for moral support, please submit your story as well. The deadline for story and poem submissions is December 31, 2014. http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics
 
NIGHTLIGHT READING WRITERS CONTEST http://www.nightlightreading.org/writing-contest/ NO ENTRY FEE. Geared to at-risk boys in the 10-12 year age group who often stop reading for pleasure.  Nightlight Reading's goal is to fund and promote literature that appeals to boys and keeps them engaged and reading. Short stories limited to 5,000 words. Theme is Adventure. Deadline December 31, 2015. First Prize: $1,000 award plus certificate and publication of the story. Second Prize: $500 award plus certificate and publication of the story. Third Prize: $300 award plus certificate and publication of the story.
What opportunities do you see in the next few weeks?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Writing for Small Markets

Wow, can you believe Christmas is only two weeks away? I have my house decorated, but I've barely begun my Christmas shopping! I'm a little sad about the whole thing because we usually have a LARGE family get-together at my grandmothers house on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, she passed and no one seems interested in the gathering without her. I guess we will just have a small celebration with my immediate family. I count myself lucky to have hubby and two small angels with which to enjoy the holiday.

Today I am guest posting at the "Insecure Writer's Support Group" blog. My article on writing for small markets can be found here.  If you have a moment, please stop by. You can also download their "Guide to Publishing and Beyond" for FREE. For more information on the free ebook read here.

Are you busy making plans for the holiday? Are you still writing, or is that on hold for you at the moment?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Writing in Obedience

I found this book to be an excellent source for ANY Christian writer, not just those hoping to write specifically for the Christian market. As a person of faith, I have wondered what the Lord's plan was for me. While I have never felt specifically "called" to write "Christian" fiction, I AM a believer who didn't want to exclude my religion from all of my writing.

The authors of this book (one agent and one editor) discuss the differences in being called to write for Him, and writing as an "offering" to the Lord. Sections include pointers in writing for different audiences, structuring your story correctly, and getting the manuscript published.

This book briefly reviews what we want to achieve with our writing, and discusses how we define success.

About the Authors

 
Terry Burns has been with the Hartline Literary agency for ten years, more than five years as an agent, and has a substantial list of clients, a growing list of credits, and a reputation for presenting to conferences all over the country. Terry comes from a writing background, has over forty books of his own in print, most recently adapting a Christian movie script to print for the movie Footprints, a Young Adult novel entitled Beyond the Smoke, which won the Will Rogers Medallion, the three book Mysterious Ways series from David C. Cook, and a book on the skills needed to get published entitled A Writer s Survival Guide to Getting Published that was developed out of the month long course he held for the American Christian Fiction Writers. A bookstore of his available works as well as a periodic blog can be found at terryburns(dot)net. Terry has a BA from West Texas A & M and did graduate work at Southern Methodist University. He's a member of the Association of Author s Representatives (AAR).

Linda W. Yezak holds a BA in English, a graduate certificate in Paralegal Studies, and a bucket list as long as her arm. Among the things on the list is owning a stable full of horses, and since that s not likely to happen any time soon, she includes horses in each of her novels, from her contemporary western romance, Give the Lady a Ride, published in 2011, and her current work, The Cat Lady s Secret, under contract to Harbourlight Books, to her works-in-progress. Linda has been a freelance editor for several years and is a speaker for writers groups and conferences in the Ark-La-Tex-OK region. Until the day she can retire with her husband to their land in Central Texas and ride to her heart's content, she'll continue with her writing and editing careers.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

NaWriMo Winners and a FREEBIE for Everyone!

Congratulations winners! Below is a list of winners of my NaWriMo challenge. If your name was drawn, simply email me three or four selections from the prizes (visit http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/2014/10/nawrimo-my-challenge-to-all-writers-and.html to find a complete list). REMEMBER: this is first come, first served. If there are any prizes left, I will choose more names later.

Texas Gulf Coast Writers
John Harp
Ann
Crystal B
Bayou Writers Group

AND FOR EVERYONE: A FREE DOWNLOAD! The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond is available for download. It is packed with information, and I have an article included in the marketing section. Please help us spread the word about this awesome book.
 
Tapping into the expertise of over a hundred talented authors from around the globe, "The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond" contains something for every writer. Whether you are starting out and need tips on the craft of writing, looking for encouragement as an already established author, taking the plunge into self-publishing, or seeking innovative ways to market and promote your work, this guide is a useful tool. Compiled into three key areas of writing, publishing, and marketing, this valuable resource offers inspirational articles, helpful anecdotes, and excellent advice on the do's and don'ts that we all wish we knew when we first started out on this writing journey. 

ISBN 9781939844088
235 pages, FREE
IWSG sites – website, Facebook, and Facebook Critique Circle
Find the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads.

Monday, December 1, 2014

NaWriMo Wrap-Up: The Memoir Project

Thank you to everyone who participated in my NaWriMo challenge! Those of you following my own journey this month know that I started strong, but didn't finish due to illnesses. I didn't even try to add anything this weekend. My youngest was finally well enough for some activity, so we unpacked our Christmas decorations, spent time with church and family, and went out to eat. It was a great weekend after the virus scare a week ago.

While I haven't added a lot to my word count in the last ten days, I have still been thinking about the story. I've let it gestate in the back of my mind. I haven't done ANY editing, but I have thought a lot about the direction I want to take the story now.

I also spent some time reading The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text For Writing & Life by Marion Roach Smith. This is a short book (about 112 pages) that I received as a door prize at a writer's conference earlier in the month. I enjoyed this quick read. Smith's take on writing in refreshingly honest and open. In this text she decries writing exercises, claiming only purpose-filled writing is a useful way to spend your time. I found her analysis and examples extremely insightful, and I hope you'll consider taking a look if you plan to write ANY type of nonfiction.

Later this week I will be announcing the winners of my challenge. Random.org will pick a few winners from the commenters, and they can email me their selections.

How did your project turn out? Read any good books lately?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

NaWriMo Days 25-28

My daughter was extremely ill this week, and we spent three consecutive days at the doctor trying to help her. They very nearly put her in the hospital, but THANKFULLY she finally began responding to medication. Thanksgiving day was the first time she began sitting up to eat and interact with others. Needless to say, my nonfiction project wasn't really on my mind during this time.

Last night I finally added a few thoughts, but only about 372 words. Not sure how much I'll get back to it this weekend, but at least now that my daughter is feeling better I can think about it some more. I may just take the weekend to enjoy having my whole family together and healthy.

How is your project progressing? Don't worry about beating anyone else, just write for YOURSELF!

There are only a few days left to enter my NaWriMo challenge and giveaway. Click the picture in the column to the right for more details.