Saturday, June 29, 2013

Where's Zack?: Summer Reading Quest Deadline Nears




Readers 9 and up have until midnight Sunday, June 30, to guess where 13-year-old Zack disappeared on his family's summer vacation. The ficititous character, who disappeared in the Florida backwoods in the ebook Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery, went missing somewhere in Florida, Texas, or somewhere in-between.

The quest, Where's Zack, has been running during the month of June at New Christian Books Onine Magazine, a free online pubication serving readers of Christian literature and their authors.

"It is my hope that the quest encouraged children and mystery lovers of all ages to do some reading," says the magazine publisher, Cheryl Rogers, who authored Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery.

Everyone who enters the quest will be receiving faith-building ebooks. Scavengers at the website have a chance to win books by authors Theresa Franklin and David Moore on a first come, first serve basis. Those who correctly guess where Zack disappeared will win e-copies of Noah's Ark by Christian author Ruth O'Neil, along with the next Bible Camp Mystery slated for release later this summer and other ebooks. 

The quest centers around 12 articles and short stories about Zack's summer vacation, which are posted at the magazine. Readers can enter the quest by filling out an online form here: http://www.songsfromtheword.com/NewChristianBooks/where-is-zack-form There is no fee to enter the quest.

Book Critique by Lorilyn Roberts On Writing Well by William Zinsser - The Book on Writing All Serious Writers Should Read

Book Critique by Lorilyn Roberts
On Writing Well by William Zinsser



I read On Writing Well by William Zinsser twice. I loved this book. On Writing Well embodies what excellent writing should be. At first I thought the book would be a dull "how to write" book, much like a cookbook, without a lot of creativity. Instead, On Writing Well has depth and soul. It challenges me to ask, what can I achieve for the glory of God if I implement these nuggets of wisdom?

On Writing Well gives me a high standard to emulate and debunks many myths perpetrated by people I consider more knowledgeable than myself. This book is a gift to anyone who takes writing seriously.

I also believe there is a spiritual battle waged in Christian writing. The evil one does not want God's glory to be revealed in human creativity. If he can persuade Christian writers through mediocrity and deception that publishing articles or books is the ultimate goal without a passion for truth, beauty, and redemption, our writing will be compromised. We will sacrifice our best–God’s creativity—for a cheap counterfeit. As Zinsser states so well, we need role models who exhibit good writing that we can copy to help us develop our own style.

I also feel “normal” now knowing I am not "crazy" with my compulsion to rewrite things over and over as I fidget for the right construction. I take comfort in knowing at least Zinsser does the same thing. 

There are too many good points On Writing Well to summarize in a few short paragraphs, so I want to break them down into the four parts of the book as Zinsser presented them.

Part I           Principles

All these principles would apply equally to fiction and nonfiction.

1. Good writing must exhibit humanity and warmth. A writer's product is himself, not the subject that he is writing about.
2. Write clearly and eliminate all clutter.
3. Be yourself on paper as you are in person. 
4. Write the way that is most natural to you.
5. Write to please yourself—I like to think I am writing to please God. To paraphrase from the Bible, whatever I do, do it as if I am doing it unto the Lord, and give Him the glory. That means the reader deserves the best I have to offer.
6. Writing is art through imitation.
7. Avoid journalese and cheap words—the world has enough of them already (I know because I caption them every day). Instead, surprise the reader with the rhythm and cadence of verbs and nouns that express vitality and beauty in unexpected ways.  
8. Respect the English language and write correctly—it will show you care about the reader and respect his intelligence.

Part II                    Methods

All these principles would apply equally to fiction and nonfiction.

2. Unity ensures orderliness in terms of presentation, pronoun, tense, and mood.
3. Enthusiasm will keep the reader engaged.
4. Leave the reader with one new thought or idea to consider after he finishes your story. 
5. Be flexible—let your writing take you where it wants to go. Trust your material.
6. Make your lead so compelling that the reader can't put your book down.
7. Always have more material to draw from than you think you will need.
8. Look for the story in your writing—people love stories.
9. Know when to end (I have read my share of great books that I never finished because I became bored in the waning chapters).
10. Use active and precise verbs and adjectives. Avoid overuse of adverbs. 
My translation is, if it sounds like writing, it's a poor substitute. My favorite books are those where I get lost in the story—I have been transported to another world or another time and forget I am reading until something or somebody disturbs me.
11. Omit the "little qualifiers."
In my book Children of Dreams, I did a word search for qualifiers I tend to overuse like "very" and removed them.  I also did a search for exclamation points—most of those came out also. The change in overall appearance was stunning. 
12. Avoid contractions like "I'd, he'd, and we'd." I don't write these words captioning because I don't like them (they don't exist in my captioning dictionary), so I am glad to know I don't ever need to write them.
13. Don't overstate. I have been turned off by writers who overstated a fact. My translation is, don't insult the reader's intelligence.
14. Don't compare your writing to others. Your only competition is with yourself.
15. If something can't be fixed, take it out. In captioning parlance, when in doubt, take it out.  Better not to caption it than to caption it wrong.
16. Keep paragraphs short.
17. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.

 Part III        Forms  (Noted for my own edification)

1. Dramatic nonfiction should have no inferring or fabricating, but a condensing of time and events is acceptable to tell the story, raising the craft of writing nonfiction to art.
2. Seize control of style and substance when writing about people and places; take unusual care with details.
3. A memoir covers a short span of time and is not autobiographical. Use sound, smell, touch and rich remembrance to allow the reader to enjoy the journey alongside you.
4. When writing science, write as an ordinary person, sequentially, and never forget the human element is what will make the story come alive.
5. Strip from business writing all the extra "lingo" and write with what Zinsser calls the four articles of faith: Clarity, simplicity, brevity and humanity.
6.  Sports writing is rich in opportunity for nonfiction writers—a source of material for social change and social history. Strip away the sports jargon and write with active verbs and colorful adjectives. (This chapter spoke to me personally as it takes months of training to become a competent sports captioner. Because I hope to incorporate sports into my creative writing, I'm glad to know that good sports writing eliminates the junkie lingo that I caption every day).
7.  Criticism is a serious intellectual act undertaken by those trained in the area of inquiry. The first qualification should be to love the type of art being critiqued.
8. Humor is the secret ingredient to nonfiction writing that adds zest and joy to truth and life.

Part IV        Attitudes

The following would apply to fiction except for 6 through 10. All would apply to nonfiction.

1. Avoid cheap writing, clich├ęs, and breeziness. Develop a style that the reader with recognize as "your voice."
2. Write with sincerity. Your best credential is yourself.
3. Focus on process, not outcome.  Zinsser calls it, "The Tyranny of the Final Product." 
4. Quest and intention should guide us in our writing. Quest is the search for meaning and intention is what we wish to accomplish—the soul of our writing.
5. Writing is about making decisions, and ultimately, where you wish to take the reader on your journey.
6.  Consider the resonance of the words you choose and its emotional impact on the reader.
7. As a nonfiction writer, "You must get on the plane." (I think about the adoption of my two daughters from Nepal and Vietnam. My book Children of Dreams is about their adoptions. If I never got on the plane, I wouldn't have them. Neither would the reader have my book.
8. When writing memoir, choose one point of view to preserve unity; i.e., writing from the viewpoint of the child versus the adult looking back. They are different kinds of writing.
9. Remember, when writing memoir, it's your story. Memoirs should have a redemptive quality—readers won't connect with whining.
10. Organize your memoir through a series of reductions, focusing on the small stories tucked away in memory. The reader will connect because the stories will resonate with universal truth.
11. Strive to write the best you can.  Give all of yourself.  The reader deserves the best you have to offer.

Get your copy of On Writing Well here:


Friday, June 28, 2013

Fearless Friday with Lou Ann Keiser!

 
Meet Lou Ann Keiser

 
Lou Ann Keiser is a pastor's wife, mother of two married children, and a grandma. She lives with her husband in a quaint little town in Europe where her life is full and happy. She loves her Lord, the Bible, people, nature, art, music, and reading.

Connect with Lou Ann on her blog, “In the Way” 







His Ways, Your Walk:
Bible Applications for Women

ISBN 978-1-937461-05-8

Can be purchased on Amazon.com or on my blog: intheway-lk.blogspot.com. I offer special prices for churches and groups. (Please contact me personally for information.)

 

Blurbs:

"HIS WAYS, YOUR WALK is a practical how-to book for women who want to live for Christ in the 21st century.”—Sandra

"HIS WAYS, YOUR WALK has straightened out my thinking because it taught me how to think more biblically.”—Rhoda

“The chapter about Women’s Issues helped me specifically in a personal way.”—Esperanza
“I really appreciate the number of issues that are covered in this single resource. The book has already been a tremendous blessing and challenge to me.”—Laura 
 
Lou Ann, tell us about your unique talent: I enjoy doing subtractive sculpture. The subject is always hiding inside that block.
 

Share something not many people know about you: I always wanted to be a geologist.


Are you a “pet person” or prefer no pets? Definitely a dog person. We have an old mutt who’s the most adorable in the world.
 

Would you rather travel or stay at home? Both!
 

Do you read more or write more? It’s even between them.
 

Prefer cake or pie? Pie, any kind of fruit pie.
 

Would, or do, ride a motorcycle or prefer to ride/drive a car? Car. (I could refer you to my motorcycle-riding son, if you need to know why.)
 

Bus or taxi or walk? It depends on the distance. I like to walk.
 

Are you part of a big church congregation or a small church? Small.
 

Do you like to telephone people or prefer to use e-mail? E-mail. I despise telephones!
 

Are you happy or joyful? Usually both.
 

Do you eat at home or eat out? At home. I love to cook!
 

Listen to music or prefer quiet? Quiet usually. Music sometimes.
 

Prefer sunrises or sunsets? Sunsets.

 

Friday, June 21, 2013

FREE Power Point Presentation for Internet Book Marketing

Sample Slide from Power Point Presentation

Fearless Friday! with Alberta Sequeira

 
About Alberta:

I am a four-time award winning author of three memoirs; a co-founder of a group of authors called Authors Without Borders, a producer, director and co-host to the NBTV-95 Cable TV Show out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. I teach a three hour workshop for writers called "Bring Your Manuscript to Publication." I am an Awareness Coach and Motivational Speaker. 
 
Connect on her blog
 
Connect on the web

 


 A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugorje
ISBN-13: 978-1937588120

Available in paperback or Kindle

This book is a heart-felt, moving memoir of the author's father and her journey to find inner peace and renewal of life. She shares her life story from a child to the present with beautiful photos included throughout the book. She shares her struggles and pain when her father gets diagnosed with cancer and has to say goodbye. Her hunger for God leads her to a journey to Medjugorje that brings the inner healing and peace that she was looking for.
 
 

Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round: An Alcoholic Family in Crisis 
ISBN-13: 978-0741454157

Available in paperback or Kindle 

This is a wonderful book about the disease of addiction and how it can truly affect a family. This true story is very sad but is a must read for anyone going through the same thing.
 

The Sequel: Please, God, Not Two: This Killer Called Alcoholism
ISBN-13: 978-0741460295

Available in paperback or Kindle

An AMAZING book on the subject of addiction and how it affects the families. This is a true story and as I was reading it, I shed some tears. Addiction can destroy families and the pain and suffering it leaves behind can be devastating. A must read for anyone who has addiction in their family.

Alberta, share your unique talent:

My talent is trying to figure out how to get everything I need to get done in one day. With having to answer three emails, a website, a blog, writing a blog for two newspapers, scheduling speaking engagements, and working with commitments with my author group Authors Without Borders (www.awb6.com), I struggle to get time in with writing a new book. I'm working on my first fictional book The Rusty Years, after just completing a Narrative Non-Fiction What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict: In Their Own Words. It's written by 34 addicts who wrote their hearts out telling the world what did or didn't work in their recovery programs. My other talent is speaking privately to substance abusers behind closed doors at halfway homes, court-ordered programs and rehabs, along with their family members and the public on the effect of alcoholism on the whole family.  I do talks on My Spiritual Change to Women's Organizations, church events and ministries with A Spiritual Renewal. 

Share something not many people know about you: I am a twin to my brother, Albert. Of course, being a boy, we don't look alike, but we are close. I lost my daughter, Lori, in 2006 at thirty-nine years of age from her alcohol addiction. My first husband, Richard, died in 1985 from the same disease. I have another daughter, Debbie, who just turned The Big 50. Oops! I am, of course, still young at heart. I speak to the public and my knees still shake, but I put my fears in God's hands to relax me. 

Answers to the survey (Which best describes my personality)I hope my smile lets people know that I am low-keyed, enjoy them, family, and I'm a warm-caring person to others. My faith in God shines through and all my friends know this about me.  

Are you a “pet person” or prefer no pets? I love pets, but I am now retired and want my time to myself to come and go as I please. I never went without an animal when I was first married. Pets give a great stress-free atmosphere, not only in the house, but to each individual in the family. I think children should have pets growing up. Each time we lost one, it was as if we lost a family member.  

Would you rather travel or stay at home? I like both. Two years ago, we filled our dream going to Italy for a week and then right over to Portugal for two weeks. We meet my husband, Al's, family who some he never saw before out trip. The countries were beautiful. We travel now and then to see Al's sister, Evelyn, in Santa Rosa, California. We own a Timeshare in Orlando, Florida, where my twin brother and close friend lives near by in other towns. I also enjoy a slow pace with staying home bound for awhile.  

 Do you read more or write more? I write more. Believe it or not, it was rare that I ever read when I was younger. I am just starting to read, but not often, because I am so busy writing. I never dreamed or had the desire to write. Sadly, the heartbreak of the lose of my father, husband, and daughter drove me to tell my stories. Now that the Narrative Non-Fiction is done, I plan on enjoying making up characters in my stories. My memoirs are completed. My life is out in the world for everyone to see my mistakes. I am actually loving The Rusty Years, if I can ever get time to complete it. 

 Prefer cake or pie?  I prefer cake but ice cream is my favorite!

Would, or do, ride a motorcycle or prefer to ride/drive a car? I am too scared at my age now to ride in a motorcycle. Never did. I guess the older we get we look at "what" can happen to us. When we are young, we don't think of the "what ifs." No, give me a car where I feel more in control. My father always told me to drive ahead of the traffic or stay behind to give you time to stop if there is an accident saving me from being in it. 

Bus or taxi or walk?  Boy, you're really getting me to talk about "age!" My first choice is to walk. If it's a long way, I would grab a taxi or bus. 
 
Are you part of a big church congregation or a small church? I belong to the St. John Neumann Church in E. Freetown, Massachusetts. Al and I also belong to the St. John Neumann's Couples Club. 
 
Do you like to telephone people or prefer to use e-mail?  I will email because that is the world today. Otherwise, I love to hear someone's voice. It makes you feel like you are next to them and the love can be felt through the talk.
 
Are you happy or joyful?  I am both. I am joyful that God is slowly giving me peace with Lori's death. The pain will never go away, but I go on for others in my life through my talks. 
I am happy with having four step-children (although, I hate to use that word "step" because I feel they are my daughters and sons). They love me for who I am. Their mother died in her middle thirties in a tracker trailer accident. I never tried to be a mother, only someone with open arms so they could come with their problems. My daughter, Debbie, is very close to me and I'm thankful. Debbie and her husband, Brian, took Lori's two children, Meagan and Joey, into their home when she died. They also have a son, Michael and a daughter, Kerri. There are ten grandchildren with Al and I. That makes me happy. 
 
Do you eat at home or eat out?  We enjoy eating out now and then but mostly eat at home. Al loves to go for breakfast. I enjoy the lunch. 
 
Listen to music or prefer quiet?  Music perks me up. If it's catchy, I enjoy still kicking my feet, not high of course! I love drums in music. Then I bounce to the opposite wanting romantic music. 
I like quiet when I'm writing. 
 
Prefer sunrises or sunsets?  Again, I have to say both. Sunrises make me realize God has given me another day to share with my family. Sunsets, which can be beautiful, make me realize what God has given me at the end of the day, and if I did something wrong, He is giving me another day to get it right. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fearless Friday - the prolific Kimberley Payne returns!

Come see what's new! with

Kimberley Payne

Kimberley Payne is a former college teacher and lover of Jesus and Mr. Sketch scented markers. She combines her teaching experience and her love of writing to create educational materials for children. Kimberley lives in a village east of Toronto, Ontario Canada where she hikes the trails and writes about family, fitness and faith.


Children’s Books


Trees of the Book – Learning From God’s Creation


Trees of the Book is a 26 page children’s activity book, #1 in the Science & Faith Matters Series. It explores the trees discussed in the Bible in a way that is both fun and informative for children ages 7-9. 
Buy as Paperback: Amazon  Barnes & Noble

What people are saying about Trees of the Book:
Deb Elkink, former home educator and assistant editor of HSLDA’s Court Report and Communique, says “Fascinating subject – I would have purchased this book when I was homeschooling my kids years ago.”

Julie Connolly, Separate School Librarian, says, “Activities are fun, challenging and age appropriate.”

Kate Winn, teacher in a Catholic school says, “It’s a nice supplement to our study on plant life.”

 

Devotionals


Night Stories


Night Stories is a collection of eight devotionals about the dreams that I have had and what I felt the Lord told me through them.
Buy the e-book: Amazon Kindle  Smashwords

Where Fitness Meets Faith


Where Fitness Meets Faith is a fresh, insightful collection of devotional articles with reflections about the similarities between the challenges of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and building a relationship with God.

Buy the e-book: Amazon Kindle   Smashwords
 


Where Family Meets Faith


Where Family Meets Faith is written and compiled especially for families. It is a collection of devotionals that show the similarities between the challenges of raising a family and building a relationship with God.

Buy the e-book: Amazon Kindle  Smashwords


Where Life Meets Faith


Where Life Meets Faith is a collection of devotional articles, which explore the challenges of living life and building a relationship with God.
Buy the e-book: Amazon Kindle
 

Non-Fiction


Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual & physical health


Fit for Faith is a 7-week program designed to strengthen the believer’s Christian walk. It’s a motivational tool to empower women to improve their physical health to live balanced, whole and joyous lives that glorify God.
Buy the hard copy: CreateSpace 
Buy the e-book: Amazon Kindle – e-book  Smashwords – e-book 

Women of Strength – a devotional to improve spiritual & physical health


Women of Strength is the perfect companion for your health program. Each season is further divided into 6 sections that include an inspirational devotional, a fact on common health and fitness questions, a reflection, a prayer, a Bible verse, and an energizing exercise.
Buy the hard copy: CreateSpace – hardcopy
Buy the e-book: AmazonKindle – e-book  Smashwords – e-book
 

Fiction


Tooth for Tooth


Tooth for Tooth novella. Dumped into single parenthood, Heather Williams has found a part-time job as a dental receptionist and a cozy apartment with her four-year-old daughter. Life finally looks safe and secure until her daughter reveals a terrifying secret that she’s been molested by her own father. While struggling with her feelings towards her new boss, Heather tries to get the help her daughter needs, navigate the court system, and protect the child from further harm.
Buy the e-book: AmazonKindle   Smashwords


Your unique talent:
 

I’m really good at spotting loose change on the ground.


Share something not many people know about you:
 

I still have baby teeth with no permanent teeth coming behind them. I’m just a kid at heart!


Are you a “pet person” or prefer no pets?
 

I love all animals! Actually, my next children’s book will be about animals from the Bible.


Would you rather travel or stay at home?
 

I like to stay at home, although if it’s a vacation to a sunny all-inclusive spot, I won’t say no.

Do you read more or write more?
 

I love to read. I’ve been alternating between reading on my e-reader and reading “real” books.

Prefer cake or pie?
 

If I have to pick, I’ll choose cake over pie. But I won’t turn down either.


Would, or do, ride a motorcycle or prefer to ride/drive a car?
 

I’d love to learn to drive a three-wheeler motorbike and ride across Canada with my hubby.

Bus or taxi or walk?
 

If it’s not too far, I prefer to walk. I enjoyed living in a small town where I could walk to all the stores downtown.


Are you part of a big church congregation or a small church?
 

I live in a small village and attend a small church with only about 150 members. It’s nice to know everyone’s name.


Do you like to telephone people or prefer to use e-mail?

I like Skype to talk to relatives who live in Holland, and texting to keep in touch with friends and family. I’m not big on the phone.


Are you happy or joyful?
 

I’d say that I have my happy moments but I have joy deep down all the time.


Do you eat at home or eat out?

I try to eat at home, although I’ve found that hubby and I have been going out to eat much more lately.


Listen to music or prefer quiet?
 

Love to listen to music when I’m at my computer and at work. Otherwise, I prefer the quiet.


Prefer sunrises or sunsets?
 

Both, but find it hard to be up early enough to watch the sunrise.


Connect with Kimberley: Website