Sunday, July 5, 2015

Plethora of Players ~ Mary C. Findley

Good afternoon, folks. We have with us this morning a great character, Keith Bradley, from The Great Thirst Serial Archaeological Mystery from author Mary C. Findley. Welcome, Mister Bradley. We’re here to talk about this mystery of The Great Thirst. But first, we’d like to hear a little about you.

I’m a third generation schoolteacher. I’m a science teacher, twenty-five years old, and live with my dad and my sister. It’s a very small town.

You watch out for the kids as the buses come in. What about that stranger in a strange car?

That was Mis'ess Talia Ramin, the new English teacher. She got the parking lots mixed up. Seeing her drive up in a Tesla – amazing.

It must have been quite a shock to you, then, to learn you would be team-teaching a class with Mis'ess Ramin?

Grant money from the Bible as Literature class would help fix up the school. But there was no way I was going on that trip during Spring Break..

Why would you pass up a chance to visit Greece and Turkey if someone else was paying?

Because I intend on going to ProTechCon during Spring Break, to get back on track for my master’s.

Certain parents think you’re ignoring their concerns about cafeteria menus, remodeling, and this Bible Restoration Project. What would you say to those accusations?

We are doing our best to give their kids a safe, healthy school and a good, complete education. You can’t please everyone.

The next phase of the Bible Repository Project must have been quite a bombshell.

It really scared us. The Men in Black came to take everybody’s Bibles, notes, and memory cards.

You agreed to go on the December survey trip. What convinced you?

I thought those people were crazy, to keep working after what happened. This quest means a lot to Talia and her aunt and uncle. We got some mysteries to solve together.

Our viewers are dying to hear about the mysterious ancient technology you found on the survey trip, and where these finds were located.

I can’t get into specifics about what we did or exactly what we found over there. People still need protection. But I will say that I wasn’t the one who found the most important artifact, or made it work, really. It will take a lot of study and work to understand the secrets we helped discover.

Well, then, maybe you can explain what this Great Thirst business is all about?

The Bible says there’s going to come a time when people will be searching everywhere for the Word of God and not be able to find it.

So you are preparing for the end times? The Great Tribulation or something like that?

We’re preparing for persecution and people having to hide and protect the word to share it. 


             Amazon links: 

             BOOK ONE Prepared
             BOOK TWO Purified

             BOOK THREE - Pursued

Author Bio:  Wife of a crazy smart man, mother of three kind of grownups, traveling the US and Canada in a tractor-trailer. Best-selling historical fiction author of the Benny and the Bank Robber Adventure series, Send a White Rose, and Chasing the Texas Wind.

Mary also writes for Mid-grade, and these highly-rated nonfiction and homeschool titles also available:
1) Praise for Benny and the Bank Robber: "Looked like a kids book. It really surprised me with a lot of interesting twists and being deeply spiritual."
2) Doctor Dad: "Real life situations, mystery and suspense along with a little comedy keep you wanting to keep on reading. SUPERB!"
3) The Oregon Sentinel: "This has been an excellent series. As a family, we have thoroughly enjoyed "meeting" Benny and his family and going along with him on his adventures which have been truly amazing."
4) Antidisestablishmentarianism: "This book will give you all the ammunition you need to get yourself straightened out and those you know and love. I recommend you get it and read it."
5) The Baron's Ring: "disability should not hinder you from accomplishing the things you want or desire to do in life and that we must always trust, believe and depend on God."
6) Hope and the Knight of the Black Lion: "Findley is one of those authors who stands a head above the rest in her effort to achieve perfection."

Mary's "tough but you need it" BLOG is Elk Jerky for the Soul 
Visit Mary on Facebook  or on YouTube

Friday, June 26, 2015

Plethora of Players Summer Book Tour ~ Shawn Lamb

What a first week this has been on our Summer Tour where you, our readers will meet a Plethora of Players in the novels of Shawn Lamb, Mary C. Findley, Pam Funke, and myself, Caryl McAdoo!

Today is the final day of our visit to Allon. From what we can gather there is a good reason for Shawn Lamb selecting the title “The Great Battle”. Tensions are running high. We hope to get some answers from Lieutenant Avatar, aide to Captain Kell.

Thank you for taking the time to join us, Lieutenant.

You’re welcome.

I must say, I find Guardians' eyes quite impressive. First the brilliant gold of Kell's, then the rich mahogany of Dagar's, and now yours. Such vibrant silver, almost as bright as your sword.

Well, thank you. I don’t think much about the color. None of us really do, it’s simply a feature of our creation.

I’ll get right to the point. In the prior interviews, Kell and Dagar both referred to you, although in decidedly different tones. Kell spoke in favor while Dagar ... well, Lieutenant, not so much.

I’m not surprised by Dagar. It’s his troubling attitude that concerns Kell … and me.

Seems to go beyond attitude, don't you think? I mean Dagar mentioned something about “spying”?

Spying is his word. Kell sent me to discover if there is any connection between Dagar and the rogue. That is exactly what I intend to do, with or without Dagar’s cooperation. However, he’s not the only one being uncooperative.

How so?

Let’s just say other Trio Leaders are not happy with me following the captain’s orders. They need to understand, nothing will stop me from learning the truth. Kell sent me on a mission, and I will complete it.

So Dagar’s attitude is spreading to other Guardians?

Appears so. Why and where it will lead is the question? What used to be unthinkable just a few centuries ago may be come reality. That doesn’t bode well for the mortals.

Kell said you find them amusing.

Ay. But there is nothing amusing about our current situation. Jor’el willing, we can stop it before the worst happens.

You mean war among the Guardians? Can Allon withstand such a conflict?

I don’t know. Nor do any of us want to find out.

(A female voice is heard) Sorry, but I’m going to have to break-up this little show.

Excuse, me, but who are you?

My name is Wren. And, no, I’m not a warrior. I’m a Guardian huntress, and here to make sure the Lieutenant stays on course.

You got lost, Lieutenant?

No! Merely sidetracked to be here. (Avatar looked none-to-pleased at Wren.) You need to work on your timing.

(Wren flashed a lopsided smile.) Only if you give lessons.

One more question, Lieutenant. Is there anything those of us from outside Allon can do to help?

Pray, and trust the Almighty for the outcome.

Thank you, Lieutenant. Wren, pleased to make your acquaintance.

Well, it appears our trip to Allon uncovered more than we expected.  All we can do is see if what Shawn Lamb chronicles in “The Great Battle” will have a favorable outcome.

The Great Battle – Book 1 – Guardians of Allon is currently available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Shawn Lamb is an award-winning author of the YA epic series Allon and children’s trilogy “The King’s Children”. To learn more about Shawn and her books visit her!

DON'T FORGET to leave your comment for Shawn or her Players! Every person on the tour who leaves a comment will be in a drawing for individual giveaways as well as the GRAND PRIZE for those who make it to every one! Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays! 

You may also visit our Facebook Event at Christian Indie Books to leave comments and ask your own questions of any of the Plethora of Players planned for you to meet on this tour! 

Next week, July 6 thru 10, meet us to meet the Players of Mary C. Findley's fiction!

Week Three. July 13 thru 17, Tour with us to meet the players of One and Done, Caryl McAdoo's July release!

And Week 4, July 20 thru 24. meet the Players of Pamela Funke!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

I Love The Craft of Writing

I've been thinking about this book for a long time. I've contributed to online writing magazines and published regular columns in some, besides guesting on many writers' blogs. 

I found myself always looking for something to send someone that would explain a concept they weren't understanding or applying to their work--always with the heart of trying to repay because I received such wonderful help when I was new in this wonderful community.

I finally started gathering all the articles into a single folder in my Word documents and realized I had enough material for a book! Voila! And so I began putting all my blogs and posts, articles, and editing papers into Story & Style, The Craft of Writing Creative Fiction

It’s written in a conversational tone and I've been told that makes the tools of this craft easier to understand. I've included lots of examples, too. Some of the chapter names are Hooks, Point of View, Characterization, and Dialogue, and there’s an emphases throughout of using an active voice rather than passive. 

At sixty-five, if I've learned anything, it is that one never quits learning! It is my desire with Story & Style to inspire writers to improve their craft. It is my nineteenth title, my third non-fiction. I've been blessed to have four historical Christian Texas Romance, two Biblical fictions, four contemporary romances, three mid-grade chapter books, a WWII military novel, a thriller (written specifically for a secular audience) and an audio mystery. I've edited professionally since 2001, and honed my craft at twenty-two years of read-and-critique sessions!

If you know ANYone who writes--whether they've just said they want to and haven't started yet or have many titles published--I would venture to promise God will use this book to improve their knowledge of the tools available to them and take their writing to a new level. Please get them a copy! You can comment below and maybe win the giveaway and gift them with that copy!

Praying my story gives God glory! Blessings to you in the name of His Son!

Leave a comment for the opportunity to be blessed with a free copy!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Are Parents' Sins Visited on Their Children?

Enjoy a snippet from May's Debut Sins of the Mothers!

Jethro Risen, one of the gold miners Mary Rachel has sold merchandise to in San Francisco is at a plain sawboard Methodist church speaking with Brother Paul. Jethro only recently got saved.

     “Sins of the fathers, have you heard about that?”
     “I guess not, what are you talking about?”
     The old man held a finger up and hurried to the altar. He returned with a Bible, flipped pages until he found his spot, and read. “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.”
     “Who’s them?”
     He looked up. “Talking about other gods here, telling His children not to bow to them.” He continued. “For I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”
     “So I get punished for my father’s sins? That doesn’t seem right. Is that what it means?”
     “No, not exactly. God is telling the children of Israel how things work. You plant corn, that’s what you harvest—corn. Reap what you sow. Same with bowing down to other gods. The second commandment is not to have any other gods. When you put something—anything—ahead of God, you don’t get blessed.”
     “So I’m doomed to repeat the sins of my father?”
     “No, you accepted the Lord’s salvation. Not under the curse anymore. You don’t hate Him anymore, do you?”
     “No, sir. Don’t know that I hated Him before.”
     “There’s no gray with God, son. You love Him or hate Him. But Christ became a curse so that we will be blessed. Still, the devil has a right to visit our parents’ sins on us.” The old man smiled. “In reality, that’s a blessing.”
     “What? How so?”
     “Well, the child sees how the parents mishandled their situations and sinned against God. From witnessing their iniquities, younger generations learn from the elders’ mistakes. They’ve seen the bad outcome.”
     “I think I see.”
     “Yes, sir. So when the devil comes around with the same temptations, they can make different choices. Overcome.”

More On This New Novel

Sunday, May 3, 2015

California, Here We Come!

Hallelujah! SINS OF THE MOTHERS is here! Book Four in the historical Christian Texas Romance series! The first story of the next generation!

♫♪*`•. I’m just so excited.•*♪¨*about what the Lord is doing!•♪♫*`•. I’m just so excited Lord!! ♪♫•*¨♪ for what I know♪♫¸¸.•*♪ He will do!!*•.¸ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸♫♪*`•. I’m just so excited!!•.¸.• ✿And He is delighted ღ(̆̃̃ڿڰۣ✿♫♪*with my anticipation`º°¨•.¸of what I know He will do. .•*♪♫•!♪♫¸•*♪ And I get to be a part ♫♪*`of what the Lord is doing!•♪♫*`•. I get to be a part!!.•*♪¨*♥ •♪♫ of what I know♪♫¸¸.•*♪ He will do!!*•.¸ I get to be a part ♫♪*`!♪♫•*♥¨and He has a good plan!♪*•.¸ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫♪*`•. He’s called me for His purpose!.•*♪¨* ♫♪*`•. I have a role to play!!♪♫•*¨♪ 
This is a "New Song" the Lord gave me and I AM EXCITED to be sure! :)

     Henry and Sue's oldest daughter together, Mary Rachel is only seventeen. Propelled by blind first love, she defies her father and elopes with Caleb Wheeler.
     He whisks her away to California while her daddy is off to Europe. In the gold rush days of 1851 San Francisco, the newlyweds partner with his cousin John in his dry goods business.
     Unbeknownst to the young bride, her new husband sends his kissing cousin Lanelle ahead. He wants his love and his new wife’s money, too. 
     Betrayal and murder drive Mary, soon a young mother, to the depths of despair. But she can't go home, and hates the one man who loves her enough to cover her sins and deliver her out of the horrible pit she’s dug for herself.
     Or does she?
     From frontier Texas to the raw bone boomtown of  the west coast, then all the way to genteel New York, Mary travels to find redemption for the sins of her mothers. 

This is the one everyone's been waiting for, and all the early buzz says it's the best yet!It's different from the first three in that I venture to the Golden State where I was born in 1950--right at one hundred years after Mary Rachel Buckmeyer was there--except I was not born in the city by the bay, but a little south in Long Beach. And Debut Day for SINS OF THE MOTHER, May 3rd, just happens to be my sixty-fifth birthday, too :)

       What an exciting that must have been for my young heroine, but she could never imagine how many things could and would go wrong for her. 
     Here's what some of my early readers are saying about SINS OF THE MOTHERSREVIEWS:

I've often wondered if the past can repeat itself in a person's life and Mary Rachel Buckmeyer gave me my answer. Love, betrayal, despair, the sweet faith of little children, and the perseverance of a miner. These all made for a wonderful story of what life was like in San Francisco during the gold rush of the 1850's. When I finished the last page of Mary's story, I smiled and thought... I loved this story! But... There had better be another book coming because I want more of these Buckmeyer's! I'd recommend this story to anyone who enjoys reading  a good Christian, historical fiction of the 1800's.
                   --Deanna Stevens, Nebraska reader
Sins of the Mother. Caryl McAdoo does it again with what I think is the best book yet in this series. The characters are so real and have a heap of real issues on their plates from page one. Pick it up and you won't be able to put it down.
                 --Holly Michael

     Would you like an EXCERPT from Chapter One? See how this novel starts:

With everyone on the porch for the clan’s sendoff, Mary Rachel decided for sure and for certain and could wait no longer. She took a deep breath and hugged his neck. “Daddy, I’m sorry. I really am, but I can’t go. No, I mean I’m not going. I can’t leave. I won’t.”
He leaned back and stared at her for too long a minute, his face suddenly stone cold. “What did you just say?”
She grimaced; steam rose to her cheeks. He softened just like he always had when her mother turned on him. Saying it aloud made it all the more real, strengthened her resolve. “I cannot be gone for seven months. I thought for a while maybe I could, but I can’t, Daddy.”
Her new mother stepped close. “But Mary Rachel, why? It’s the trip of a lifetime. I promise you’ll adore Europe.”
“It’s just Mary now, please. No Rachel. That’s what Caleb calls me.”
His voice lowered to almost a whisper, he slipped some of the steel back on. “So. This is about that boy.”
“He’s a man, Daddy, and you know it. We love each other.”
“If he loves you, baby, then he’ll wait. It’s only seven months. He should be thrilled you have this opportunity to travel Europe.”
“Well, I’ve made my decision, and I’m not going.”
“We’ve booked your passage.”
“I know, and I’m sorry. I should have told you sooner, but I knew you wouldn’t be happy about my decision.” She looked off at the tree line, hating the disappointment in his eyes. But that was a coward’s way, so she faced him again. “Like I said, I thought I could. Anyway, let Bonnie take my place.”
From somewhere, her youngest sister burst into the middle. “Can I, Daddy? Please take me! I’ll be good. Mama, tell him how good I’ll be.” She turned those doe eyes on him. “Pleeeease.”

* * * * *

Six miles, north by northwest as the turkey vultures soar from Clarksville, Texas, the very reason Mary stayed home, rode his best mule as he skidded the black walnut saw log back to his cabin. Caleb looked behind. “Slow, girl, almost there.” 
He nudged the animal a bit further, the timber only feet from his makeshift hoist. Two more steps, then he eased Harley Sue to a stop. He hopped down then rubbed the old girl’s near ear. “You sure are a good mule.”
The distant rattle of trace chains turned him east, for a minute he stared, then she waved. “Well, look here what the cat drug in.”
He unhooked the skid and led Harley Sue to the barn’s corral; got back before Lanelle had the brake set on her wagon. “She go?”
He nodded. “You sure? Saw it with your own eyes?”
“Yep, he took the three younger girls, but not the princess.” She stood and threw him a smirk. “Help me down.”
“Sure.” He stepped toward her with his arms held out, she fell into them. He caught her then twirled her around as she wrapped hers around his neck. He set her feet to the ground then stepped back a bit. Business first. “Anyone see you turn on my road?”
“No, but what difference would it make? I’m only bringing supplies for my kin.”
“True, you get it all?”
“A pound of salt pork, two ounces of salt, and a pound of coffee, but you best get yourself to town. Old man Hobbs wants a word with you. Wasn’t too happy when I told him to put it on your bill ‘stead of Pappy’s.”
Caleb nodded toward his wagon. “I should have this lumber loaded by Saturday. I’ll see to him on my way to Jefferson.”
She shrugged then turned and moseyed toward the cabin. “That last batch any better?”
Heading the opposite direction to the well, he soon went to cranking; retrieved the jug, pulled the cork, and sipped a taste. When he didn’t follow, she looked around then trotted to him grinning. He extended his home brew. “You tell me.”
Always a sight to behold, she accepted the jug without an ounce of pretension. Licked her lips then took a short pull and wiped her mouth. “Boogers, Caleb.” She grinned then got herself a real drink. “Woo! I’d say that may be the best you’ve cooked yet.”
He took the jug back and sipped a few gulps more. Burned good all the way down. Replacing the cork, he nodded toward the cabin. “You got time?”

Links - 
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Sunday, April 12, 2015


Here's a novel I am excited to release! It's full of new songs the Lord gifted to me, well, some of the lyrics at least, but I hope to have links for my YouTube channel where I can post videos with my songs so readers can hear them!Won;t that be fun?
                                                  Get it HERE!
SING A NEW SONG, book two of the Red River Romance series, is a stand alone contemporary, Christian, romance set in Northeast Texas. It's hero happens to be named after a great-great-great-great-grandfather of HEARTS STOLEN fame (Book Two of my historical Texas Romance series)!

In SING A NEW SONG, the untimely death of her father tears Mary Esther Robbins’ heart open and separates her from her grade school best friend, Samuel Levi Baylor. During their twenty years apart, she fulfills her life’s dream of penning new songs and singing God’s praise with a Christian band, while he tends his growing cattle herd and shares the Good News at every opportunity.
       The Lord brings her home then throws them back together when Samuel agrees to help Mary Esther move and remodel her childhood home. The two decades lost vanish, and their time together convinces both the other is their soul mate.
       But misunderstanding and fear keeps them from expressing their true love. Though jealousy rears its ugly head, can love and commitment hold the two together? And while they’re both committed to ministering the Gospel together, can they do it as husband and wife?

Here, let me give you an EXCERPT so you can taste and see for yourself! :)

       Mary Esther waved her key card then turned around and extended her hand. He took it and pulled her toward him, leaned in. The desire to close her eyes and surrender, let him kiss her, washed over her like a sweet summer rain. She should pull away, but instead, at the last heartbeat, turned her cheek instead.
       He smelled of summer pomegranates carried on ocean breezes, crisp and clean, though he’d been on the go with her all day. His lips brushed her burning skin. He kissed her then moved on to her ear. “I don’t want to leave. Can I come in?”
       She pushed him back and smiled. “No, you may not. But you can write me. I love long letters.”
       “How about I call instead? Where’s the band headed next?”
       He nodded then seemed to study her shoes a moment. When he looked back up, a troubled expression wrinkled his forehead. Staring into her eyes, he reached up and tapped the tip of her nose. “There’s something I need to tell you before you go.”
       “Okay. What is it?”
       “I’m, uh…” He grimaced, showing his perfect teeth clenched, then offered her a weak smile. “See? Uh, I’m married. Well, separated. I mean she’s gone, left me. No one’s –”
       “You’re married?”
       “Legally, yes—for now—and you’re beautiful.”
       She pushed him back hard. The urge to slap his face burned her hand as though she had, but a long time ago, she learned not to go around hitting guys. “Married? What was the last week all about, you jerk? Get away from me, Richard. Go home. I cannot believe you… You… You’re nothing but a…”
       The only words that came to mind weren’t worth speaking. She shook her head to make them go away. “Mercy, man, you’re an associate pastor. And you’d be an adulterer, too?”
       He recoiled, as though the reality of how he’d been acting the last week cut him just as the cock’s crows had cut Peter. A horror filled his eyes. He shook his head no and opened his mouth, but no words came out. He backed a step away then turned hurried down the hotel’s hall throwing a lame “Sorry, I…” over his shoulder.
       “Dear, Lord, my God. How could I have thought he might be the one I’ve been looking for, praying for?”
       Her heart pounded. The desire to run after him and slap some smarts into him faded. He turned the corner; she pushed her door open, stepped inside, then hugged it resting her forehead on its edge. It hit her. If that guy wasn’t the one, maybe there wasn’t a man out there for her.
       It seemed no one ever saw the real her. Either they loved her voice, her songs, or the way she sang, maybe the way she looked or walked or blah blah blah.
She shut the door and flung herself across the bed. It wasn’t fair. Tears welled and overflowed wetting the white duvet.
       She grabbed the towel she’d wrapped her wet hair in that morning and pulled it under her face. Wouldn’t do to get mascara all over the cover. The tears kept coming with no end in sight.
       The enormity of what she’d been thinking. That such an idiot could have been husband material! How could she? Didn’t she have any discernment at all? Was she so caught up in romance and concerned she’d never find Mister Right that she lost sight of character? Hadn’t she prayed? She searched her memory, but it didn’t register her asking God if Richard was the one.
       Married, indeed!
       She screamed into the towel, bawling like an idiot. Why, why, why couldn’t she see it? She flipped to her back and stared suddenly silent at the ceiling. The stillness rang in her ears. Her breath caught. She swallowed. Then it hit her, she wasn’t in love with the man. She barely knew him. The inference she’d never know love broke her heart. That caused all the tears.
       But didn’t God promise the desires of her heart? She loved the idea of love, of belonging to one man, sharing his life… children. If that was not to be, what had she saved herself for? Wait a minute. That wasn’t the Lord. She saved herself in obedience to God. If she never found a man, if God never sent a Mister Right into her life, she would still remain chaste.
       For Him, no one else, the least she could do after what He did for her. Besides His sweet salvation, He’d given her music, new songs, and a decent voice. As long as she could offer praise and worship, extol His Holy name, as long as He invited her into His throne room… Sleep finally found her, and then she was twelve again.
       She stared at his casket, hated that they kept it closed, but understood the decision. Mama explained that he’d been mangled so badly. She wiped her cheeks. Praise God, at least he was in Heaven. “Someday, Daddy, we’ll all be together again.”
       A hand slipped over hers. She looked down, studied the stubby fingers intertwining with her own, then followed the arm up to Samuel Baylor’s face.

And here's what others are saying (REVIEW):

       Sing A New Song is a delightful breath of Christian air. McAdoo writes in such an eloquent way bringing her audience always nearer to God. She opens her readers’ minds to fresh ways of viewing Christian life and all it has to offer.
       The characters are lovable and react to one another in humorous ways. The romantic tale is just as lovely as always demonstrating Christian virtues we all be best to remember. The story was illuminating in how it shares the Gospel in such a beautiful way.
       The words from Samuel’s sermons as well as the gorgeous lyrics of Mary Esther’s songs fill our hearts with new found worship for Our Lord. Truly an inspiring tale. It is Christian fiction in its best; recounting a romantic love story while bringing its readers closer to God. A treasure for sure.
          -- Christine Barber, Canadian author of BROKEN TO PIECES

So if you aren't a regular here, let me share a little about myself. I'm so thrilled to be a Christian author and excited over writing three series at this time: my historical Christian ‘Texas Romances’; the contemporary ‘Red River Romances’; and ‘The Generations’, my Biblical fiction.
       Glad no one makes me choose between writing and singing, I love sharing the new songs the Lord gives me. And I enjoy painting, though I'm no Judy Downs Levine! (She's the amazingly gifted artist who paints the covers for The Generations series! You owe it to yourself to go see her work, and she has prints for sale!)
       In 2008, my high school sweetheart-husband Ron and I moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-five years—to the woods of Red River County. I birthed four children and now have fifteen grandsugars who I count life’s biggest blessings. All good things come from God. Praying my story gives God glory, I hopes each one will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. We live with two grandsons, five dogs, and a varying number of barn cats in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.

Links - All Books Sing A New Song Website  (All First Chapters offered here)    Newsletter  (The Caryler! Get FREE books for subscribing!)   Facebook
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Writing Tips from North Texas Book Festival Authors

This weekend, I am excited about going to the North Texas Book Festival in Denton, Texas! I's open to the public and READERS will love meeting authors from almost every genre including children, young adult, new adult, western, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, romance and of course, Christian romance--both historical and contemporary! :) As well as many non-fiction offerings!

I asked the attending authors to send me some of their writing tips and below are the results. Please do check back and if you can, join us Saturday, April 11, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts, 400 East Hickory Street in Denton. 

Miracle Austin          website

Writing tip: Read the genres that you enjoy the most and give new ones a twirl, may be surprised, where it could take you in your writing... Always keep your eyes, ears, and senses open for that "Aha Moment" that could pop up at any time/anywhere, which may then inspire you to develop a new idea or continue writing, where you left off last... There will be some that may not prefer your writing, but then there will be others who really will. So, write what moves you...

Rod Barklay          website  

Writing tip: Go on a 'WAS' war!  Read over your chapter, or pages, and circle all the 'was' words you find.  Then find another way to tell the story without the 'was'. A complete absence is not necessary -- just limit the use to once in a while. Cheers!

Carolyn Boyd          link to book  

Writing tip: Find a time and place that is quiet and you will not be uninterrupted. I often got up in the middle of the night and worked on 'The Langston Saga' when the phones weren't ringing and there were no interruptions. Also, write about something you know. Do your research and make your characters believable and realistic. 

Katherine Boyer          website

Writing tip: I was a working librarian for over 20 years; I am now a non-working librarian (retired).  I have been a reader since before I started to school – even though I could not understand the funny little squiggles that I learned were letters that formed words.  That is my background.  The writing tip from my side of the book is to PLEASE edit, edit, edit.  Then get either a professional editor or have two or three friends read your book before you print it.  I can’t say how difficult it is to follow a storyline if your mind keeps going back to that one little error (or several).  I know I am preaching to the choir, but even the choir sometimes needs a little uplifting.  *Just a little note – even with errors, I have always found something special and excellent in the books I have read.

Janet K. Brown          website 

Writing tip: Write every day, read every day, and make a synopsis up before writing the book.

Kathy Carniero          website

Andrew Fairchild          website 

Writing tip: “Do your research”, upon recently publishing my first children’s book “Bali and Blu: Friends of a Different Color” I was eager to get my book out without researching and interviewing other authors about options available out there to us indie authors. There are a wide variety of options available that I have learned about, and I am still learning.  There are many wonderful organizations that indie authors can join and fellow indie authors who are just willing to help you to get your book out there.

Diana Farrar          website

Writing tip: Write about your passion, and then write with passion."

Keri Fry          link to book 

Writing tip: Story ideas can come from anywhere from just watching people at the park or restaurant to labels on the on boxes .

Fred Funk          website 

Writing tip: Write everyday.  Some days I write for ten minutes, but other times it is all day. 

Robin Graham          website

Writing tip: Listen to your characters.  When you hit a block, let a character take over and see what they do.  Don't worry, they rarely play it safe.  Maybe they will choose the path less traveled and end up in an alternate universe that actually has flying cars.  Or climb a tree and meet a talking squirrel who tells really great stories.  Or fall into a river, get swept to the ocean and have a rollicking pirate adventure.  If nothing else, your character will show you that block was merely a bump in your road of writing.  And sometimes, all you need is a detour.

Judy Lowe          website 

Writing tip: My best writing tip is to write from personal experience. The inspiration for my first story, The Little White Light, was the existence of an actual white light that appeared to me. It was, and is, on-going even now. My second story, MJ’s New Friend, was developed because of my husband’s inquisitive interest in the small UFO that landed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. He had several paperback books on the subject and the event. I brought into the story my personal experiences as an elementary school teacher to convey to children the messages of acceptance and friendship that they so badly need. People tell me my stories "ring true," and I think this is because they arise from real life experiences with which we can all relate.

Caryl Mcdoo          website     

Writing tip: Don't use too many proper names. any pronoun will refer back to the last proper name mentioned--gender wise. He, his, and him refers back to the last male's name mentioned, same for female, her and she. You will have to use these for the point-of-view-character, since your only choice is name or pronoun for POVC. For other players, use description or relationship. The younger, the red-headed beauty, the teacher, his uncle, her older sister. And definitely don't use proper names in dialogue unless absolutely necessary. When we know one another we don't, so to make dialogue natural, your characters shouldn't either, especially when you're trying to cut down on the use of proper names. They bog down your story.

Myra McIlvain          website 

Writing tip: The first step is to place your bottom on the chair, your fingers on the keyboard, and begin to write over and over and over until each sentence is the best it can be. Since Texas history is my interest, my work requires tons of research to get the history as accurate as possible. With historic fiction, I try to follow the actual dateline as closely as possible and then I allow my characters to come to life within that historic framework. Characters have to be alive for me before I can make them alive for my readers. Things happen that I do not plan and characters behave in ways I have not anticipated. I do not demand a certain number of words a day. I demand that what I write is my best for that day. Always, I return to that same page many times to hone and improve each line.

Jennifer McMurrain          website 

Writing tip: One word - Outline. Outline are especially helpful for writers. They give you a road map to where your story is going. Write down those plot point destinations and then write away to your destination. No more writers block or getting lost, because you'll know where you're going.

James N. Patrick, co-author          Link to Book 

Writing tip: Visualize the scene as if you are in it.

Randall 'Randy' Reneau          website 

Writing tip: The best writing tip I ever got was from writer, Ken Hodgson. He told me to give my characters some "rein."  He said, "Let 'em  run a bit . . . and you'll be surprised where they'll take you." Boy was he right! Second best tip: Keep it fast-paced with deception at every turn . . .

Kathleen M. Rodgers          website 

Writing tip: Being a writer, that's my job. At book signings and presentations, I am an author. But when I am working, I am a writer. And, a writer must get beyond the thrill of a byline, plunge deeper than the words themselves, and dive head-on into a bottomless pit where all the good stories are swimming around waiting to be rescued from the soul.

Elaine Smith                website      

Writing tip: Put on some meditation or other music with no words, put your fingers on the keyboard, close your eyes and let the thoughts flow from your brain through your fingertips. Don't look, don't worry about misspellings or format. Just let it flow. Some call this "free writing." It is very cathartic and often great ideas pop into the flow. Then save it and go back another time to review. I usually choose music like this: 3 Hours Chi Activation Music - Extremely Powerful Brainwave Binaural - Focus Concentration Music

Jan Sikes          website

Writing tip: I want to remind you to feed the reader within.  You spend hours upon hours with research and you write, rewrite, proofread, and edit day and night, sometimes around the clock and into the next day without a break. But are you remembering to feed yourself, to give yourself the nourishment you need to stay strong and alert at those tasks?

Tui Snider          website 

Writing tip: In this era of rampant high-tech gadgetry, a simple kitchen timer remains my favorite writing tool. When feeling stuck or tempted to procrastinate, I set the timer and say, "You only have to write for 2 minutes." It's a silly trick, but it works! After 2 minutes, I've written through my resistance and am ready to continue. The timer also keeps me on track when researching. Hearing it ding after 20 minutes allows me to consider whether or not I've veered too far off the subject. My only caveat? Choose a timer with a pleasant ding and not a jarring buzz! 

Shelly Tucker          blog 

Writing tip: In the beginning, there were spoken stories.  When mankind developed writing, these tales were recorded in books for future generations to enjoy.  As I have been a storyteller for over thirty years, I am in the habit of telling the story (or section of the story) out loud before I ever put pen to paper.  Sometimes I only tell it to myself, but often I tell it to a friend or two.  By judging their reactions, I'm better able to refine my words to create a finished product.  Though the story often changes as I begin to write, that first oral story is necessary for me to be able to develop the tale.  While it might not be helpful for everyone, telling the tale out loud can sometimes help with writer's block!

Danielle Vann     website      Amy Zeller, illustrator

Writing tip: Often I am asked if there is a secret to excellent writing. My answer is always the same--READ YOUR WORK OUT LOUD! As authors/writers we often read what we intended to write instead of what is truly on the page. Most computers now have a programs that will read your work to you. As I begin editing, I will print my work, read aloud, and then turn the reading program on in Word and have the computer read to me. This simple step allows you to not only hear how your writing sounds to a reader, but it helps with flow, editing, pace, and consistency. It has changed the way I write, edit, and publish.