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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Where is God's Book? by Jenny Harp

This is a cute children's book written and illustrated by Jenny Harp.

About the book: Where is God's Book?

"We can find the blue book, and even a goat book, but where is God's book? Will we find it?" (Amazon)




To Make Your Own Children's Book:

Creatives: If you want to try your hand at making a children's book, try PowerPoint. It is a great program for making books. Also, try the free app Fotosketcher to turn your images into art. Quick tip: children's picture books are about 24 pages.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Why You Need to Set Up Your Amazon Author Page

There is a common misconception out there that Indie authors can't have an author page on Amazon. This is FALSE. I remember sitting in a meeting once, where a traditionally published author said, only authors with agents can have an author's page. I laughed, because I already had mine, and I am completely Indie.

You may be published with a vanity press, a lot of Christian women are, if they haven't set up your author page, do it yourself. Your book is your baby, and you need to care for it. Don't leave all the marketing in the hands of your publisher. If you want your book to succeed, you need to work for it. (I've also seen a lot of Christian vanity presses are not taking advantage of the ebook market, or Amazon. If yours isn't, you might ask them about it, or see if you can do it yourself.) If you publish with a pseudonym and under your own name, make sure to set up author pages for them, too!

Here's why it's so important for Indie authors to setup an author's page.


  1. Author pages add legitimacy to an author, because the false idea that "only agents" can setup author pages is prevalent with many. Use this to your advantage.
  2. Author pages provide a platform location for all of your books. This helps readers find you.
  3. Author pages allow you to link to your own blog. You can RSS your blog so that it always uploads new content to your author page.
  4. Author pages are great places to post upcoming events like book signings.
  5. Author pages display video content you upload.
  6. Author pages help you connect with your readers.

If you haven't set up your author page yet, go to Amazon Author Central and do it today, or follow the link: www.authorcentral.amazon.com. Amazon made the steps for setting up your page easy to follow, so don't worry if you don't have a lot of technical know-how. You can do it.

Heart Songs, Church of Christ Women Authors First Anthology


I can't believe this day is finally here. The kindle edition of the first ever Church of Christ Women Authors is out. The print edition will be available mid-November. I want to thank everyone who sent material for the anthology. It's because of you that this first anthology is so huge. I am speechless at how great it turned out. I have surprises in store for the print release book, so stay tuned! And, thanks again.

Susan

About Heart Songs:

"Grab your favorite blanket, a cup of Joe, and a hearty snack, because once you start reading you won't put down the first ever anthology from the Church of Christ Women Authors Blog. Whether your traipsing through the stars with Captain Regina Griwaldy, on a romantic getaway at the Cliffs of Moher, defeating a warrior clan, looking for some inspirational poetry, or great articles; this anthology has it all. There is no other like it. Heart songs features some of your favorite authors; including, award winning author Sandi Rog, as well as some of your new favorites like Lynn Nodima, Jenny Harp,and Arwen Chandler. The Church of Christ Women Authors Blog invites you to read deep into the night, and enjoy this anthology!" (Anthology)



Featured Authors:

Libby Barnes
Ruth Carter
Renate Braddy
Renee Aleshire Brown
Arwen Chandler
Arianna Elliott
Naomi Elliott
Susan Elliott
Sarah Floyd
Jenny Harp
Anne C. Heart
Lillian Humphries
Naomi Rouse Morey
Lynn Nodima
Sandi Rog
Carol Shaw
Helene Smith
Julie Trujillo

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Old Testament Skits by Susan Elliott

This collection of skits was originally used during vacation Bible school in Port Lavaca, Texas to introduce the kids to each Bible character for that days studies. Every time I read through them I can see the great fun everyone had that week. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

I've included the references for each Bible story, so that you know which verses go with each skit.

Old Testament Skits by Susan Elliott

Introduce children to amazing Bible characters and events through these Old Testament skits. These skits were written to be used in conjunction with vacation Bible school, but they are adaptable for other occasions; for example, unit studies, or character studies on the Old Testaments. This is a collection of five skits. The first four are approximately 10 to 15 minutes to perform. The last skit is around 20 to 25 minutes long.

Skits Include:
Elijah, a Prophet of God
King David, II King of Israel
Ezekiel, A Prophet of God
Gideon, a Judge of Israel
Balaam, A Wicked Prophet
Character Recap

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Daily Spiritual Growth for Your Life: Susan Elliott

Daily Spiritual Growth for Your Life is a potpourri of devotionals, and I am so happy that I can present it to you in this format. There are 30 devotionals, and the book features a hyperlinked table of contents so you can select which ever devotional you feel like reading on any given day. I hope you enjoy it, as much as I do!

 About Daily Spiritual Growth for Your Life

"Thirty days of devotionals will change you, charge you and encourage you to keep on keeping on. Daily Growth for Your Spiritual Life tackles topics that are relevant to every Christian’s life. Each devotional is designed to make you think, and come away with a greater understanding of each subject. This study will guide you to a greater joy on your spiritual walk, and a more vigorous zeal for putting God first in your life. So, why not add a little growth to your spiritual life, and spend the next thirty days in devotion?" (Amazon)

As always, thanks for reading and have a blessed day!

--Susan

Friday, October 7, 2016

Free Promo Oct 7- Oct 11, 2016: Odds & Ends: A Collection of Short Fiction by Arwen Chandler

Odds & Ends: A Collection of Short Fiction

This is a chilling work of short fiction. Arwen really dug deep into her inner Stephen King when she wrote this. (Of course, without the profanity.) Odds & Ends: A Collection of Short Fiction is a quick read, and usually sales for $2.99. Make sure to get your copy while it's on free promo!

About Odds & Ends: A Collection of Short Fiction

"Howard is more than a little sexy in his designer jeans and knock-off Versace sunglasses, but his exterior hides a menacing truth that might just get you killed in the shadow of the Ferris wheel.

Arwen compels readers through the chaos of a riot, and takes them on a desperate walk with a sexy serial killer. She introduces a dystopian world where teaching children outside of school is illegal and the government destroys those who don’t comply, and much more. Enter a work of fiction that is one wild ride, if you dare.

Odds & Ends is a gritty and thrilling work of short fiction."

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Crazy and Fun Creative Writing Image Prompts 2

Today, I encourage you to use the following creative writing image prompts as props within your story.  The key is to use the items in a way that they are not designed for, or turn them into a new creation entirely. The story is in your hands. Feel free to share these prompts with your friends or students.

--Susan









This key holder is too funny! What do you think you can use this little pink woman for? Remember she must be a prop, or a new creation in your piece of creative writing.

Writing Prompt 1

"Lydia leaned against a tall magnolia tree. Its green and brown leaves drifted slowly to the ground, swirling in the crisp autumn air. She..."

Now, using the image within your story, complete the story, or write your own.




I can't get over this Peeps inspired ring. It is way too great. I think I'd even wear one for fun.

Writing Prompt 2

"Ron twisted the cold metallic dial, and the machine whirred and whistled. For a moment it sputtered and spun, but with a final shake and cough it died.  Ron dug in the pockets of his grey corduroys and retrieved a..."

Now, using the image within your story, complete the story, or write your own.


OK, I freely admit these cute socks are on my wishlist. In fact, I almost bought them the other day when I was out shopping. They are just too fun, and I think they'd be great to wear around the house on a cool day.

Writing Prompt 3

"Sarah crossed her legs at the ankles carefully, as she reclined against her down pillow. Tired wasn't even a word for how she felt, but all in all it had been a good day. After all, it wasn't every day that some got to..."

Now, using the image within your story, complete the story, or write your own.

This Mornings Latte: Chocolate Raspberry Coconut Kiss Recipe

Greetings!

I hope you've been writing, reading, editing, or designing! I know I've been busy redesigning book covers, starting a new blog for Arwen Chandler called Sculpting Words From Air, and writing both class material and fantasy. I guess writers are always busy with something.

The last few days I've bought my morning coffee, but this morning, my lovely daughter made us a pot. So, it was time to hand-craft another latte. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.




Chocolate Raspberry Coconut Kiss Latte Recipe

20-ounces of your favorite coffee
2 Tablespoons chocolate peanut butter powder
2 Tablespoons hot chocolate powder
1 Tablespoon coconut syrup
1 Tablespoon raspberry syrup
Splash of whole milk

Place 2 Tbs of chocolate peanut butter powder and 2 Tbs of the hot chocolate powder into your coffee mug. Add a small amount of coffee and stir until the powder is dissolved. Add the syrups and more coffee. Top off with a splash of milk.


Dangerous Alternative By Kelli Hughett

Kelli has a new romantic suspense out! She just let me know via the Church of Christ Women Authors Facebook Group, and what's more it's only .99 for a limited time. So, if you have the chance, don't miss getting her newest book while it's still on sale.

About Dangerous Alternative:

"Summer in Southern California doesn’t get any hotter than this.

When Levi Boulter agrees to work for the FBI behind the scenes in Hollywood, he never plans on becoming an operative—or on keeping a deadly secret from the love of his life.

On the night he plans to propose to his girlfriend, Mahari Gillaspie, he’s attacked by a killer and thrown into fully operational status. Despite his lack of training, his job is to thwart a plan to assassinate the President’s wife, putting everyone he knows, including Mahari, in danger. He’s determined to keep the woman he loves safe, even if it means losing her forever." To read more click: here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

DIY Authors You Have to Check out Creative Indie


Today I've been working on revamping one of my short story collection covers for Amazon. I started out by researching the best fonts for the genre I was working on; after all, not all books have the same font. I don't know why this fact had escaped me to this point, but it had. At any rate, I stumbled upon the Creative Indie site, and it is a real jewel!

On this site I found a link to mostly free fonts that are listed by genre. (These links are listed, but you have to Google them to find the ones you're looking for.) The one I used for Odds and Ends is called benegraphic.

Creative Indie has more information than just font styles. Mr. Murphey has lots of PDF tutorials and advice, and much of it is free for authors. Check out DIY Book Covers: here.

Here are a few of the Free Tutorials He Offers:

Best Selling Cover Designs

How to Make a Cover in MS Word

How To Make a Book Cover in Photoshop

From what I could tell, he also offers more tutorials for members. I would suggest reviewing his site, and checking out all the cool stuff he has. I believe his information has really helped me with cover design, and I think it can help you, too. If you have any sites you recommend, please post them in the comments below.

Thanks!





Sunday, October 2, 2016

Inside the Hearts of Bible Women by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

While I don't know Katheryn very well, I do know that she is one busy woman. I see her posting in the Church of Christ Woman Authors group page on Facebook all the time about the lectureships she's attending and the places she's set up book display tables. I truly believe her drive should encourage us all to work harder to make our dreams come true.

Katheryn has written many books, and each of them have a four-star rating or above on Amazon. I have yet to dive into one of them, but I know they're selling. So, if you're interested in a Biblical tale with a fictional twist, she may be the author for you.

About Inside the Hearts of Bible Women by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

"Do you have a lady friend who is under stress or even hurting? Inside the Hearts of Bible Women is a series of twelve short stories to help women understand some of the more serious problems and challenges facing us in our modern age, just as women did thousands of years ago...To read more click: here.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Guest Post by Monica Mynk: Change Your Camera View–Filtering in Fiction

Writing in a distinct POV can be tricky, be it first person, third limited, third omniscient–it’s easy to slip “out of character.” Violations of POV are one of the things I find most when I edit. One reason is that many writers engage in a practice called filtering.

I was introduced to the concept via Scribophile, a writing forum that encourages critique and knowledge exchange for writers. Michael Emmert, long-time writer and ACFW member, penned an article on the topic, where he quoted a conference speaker as saying:

“In writing there are no absolutes, but there are two important items to avoid: Filtering, and an overuse of adverbs.”

Well, I’d never heard of it before, but it made a lot of sense. Filtering is essentially delivering the story through a narrator rather than your POV character. Emmert compares it to pouring sand into a bucket through a screen.

Think about writing a story as if you’re looking through the viewfinder of a camera. Where is the viewer with respect to the reader? In a filtering story, the reader is held at a distance from the characters, as though they are peeking through a viewfinder. Without filtering, the psychic distance diminishes and the reader moves through the story as though they are the character. When the character’s heart races, theirs does, too.

Writing without filtering can be powerful, emotional writing. Filtering makes writing come across as bland and lifeless. It’s almost like the author doesn’t trust the reader enough to discern the character’s emotion and just has to tell them or explain.

Just as the lens is able to focus on a single daisy in the feature picture, a writer should be able to focus their lens as though they’re peering out from the main character’s eyes. What the character feels, the reader feels. What they hear, the reader experiences as a sound. What they smell triggers the olfactory senses in the reader to the point they can smell it themselves. In essence, the reader BECOMES the POV character. Removal of filtering is the secret to writing that gripping, can’t-put-it-down story.

For example:

Emily felt tired. She looked to her right, where Steve had already fallen asleep. He was curled up in the stiff, plastic chair and snoring. She wondered how he could possibly sleep with all the noise from the other bus passengers.

Notice how the writer is just telling everything. When an editor or critique partner suggests showing and not telling, a lot of times they mean a writer should stop filtering.

Now–let’s remove the filters.

Emily felt tired. Rather than telling how she feels, give her a couple actions to show it.

She looked to her right. Rather than having her look to the right, show what’s on her right. If it’s another character, just give their actions. It’s implied by mentioning it that Emily is looking and that’s what she sees.

She wondered how. Instead of telling she wondered, give it as the deep POV thought.

Emily yawned and rubbed her burning eyes. To her right, Steve sat curled in his chair, snoring. How could he possibly sleep with all the noise from the other bus passengers?

A lot of filtering words are sensing words and thought words–watching, seeing, feeling, hearing, understanding, realizing, wondering

Here’s a few other examples.

Emily looked at the passenger across from her, who was smiling. (filtering)
Versus: The passenger across from Emily smiled.

Steve understood that he needed to hurry. (filtering)
Versus: Steve nodded. He needed to hurry. (note the use of deep POV here)

Marsha heard a knock at the door, and she jolted backward, bumping into the kitchen chair.
Versus: Someone knocked at the door. Marsha jolted backward, bumping into the kitchen chair.

In most cases, filtering can be fixed by replacing with the action beat or deep POV thought.
For more information on action beats and deep POV thought, you might check out Katherine Crowley’s blog, or Rivet Your Readers with Deep POV  by Jill Elizabeth Nelson.

For more great articles from Monica Mynk, check out her blog: Musings From a Mynk