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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Colonial Dreams by Diane Tatum



Colonial Dream: A Time to Love (Book 2)
Michael Browning, a child of the American Revolution, becomes surrogate father for his four siblings after the early death of his parents. His Uncle Ben has also died, leaving the pulpit empty in the church he started after the war. Bitterness has overcome Michael as each of his siblings finds love with only his youngest sister, Louisa, remaining at home. When the new pastor and his daughter, Susannah, take over the rectory adjacent to the Browning home, he cannot accept Reverend Hawthorne as a substitute for his Uncle Ben. When Louisa falls in love with Susannah’s cousin Theo, Susannah encourages Louisa to elope and offers to serve Michael in her stead. Susannah enjoys matchmaking and sets out to find a match for Michael.

When Michael’s brother Isaiah is taken by the British Navy, Michael must leave his bride before the wedding to find and save his brother as the country begins a new war with Britain.

Can the beauty tame the beast and his bitterness to create a new relationship based on trust and love?
How will a second war for Independence from Britain affect their love?

Buy ebook on Amazon
Buy print on Amazon

What Early Readers are Saying:

I absolutely love this book. Thank you for allowing me to Beta read it.  It was engaging, and I really didn't want to put it down.  Well written work.  Hope you sell a million copies!
I can’t wait to Beta read the next book for you!  --Donna McHugh


A lovely and roller-coaster romance between two strong-willed characters. I enjoyed reading about the lifestyle and history leading up to the War of 1812. --Kathy McKinsey

About the Author:
Diane Tatum grew up in St. Louis, MO. She started writing her own stories in elementary school. Her first novel grew out of a short story she wrote in high school. College was a detour to a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and Business Administration and later a Masters in Teaching Language Arts. Between degrees, she stayed home raising her boys and began writing again. She started freelance writing for magazines and church Sunday school curriculum. She also finished her novel, Gold Earrings.

After teaching middle school language arts in Tullahoma City Schools for 11 years, she retired with her husband's encouragement to write the historical fiction books that she had been starting and saving on her computer. Gold Earrings was published in 2011. She completed her second novel, A Time to Choose, in 2012, and finished her third, Colonial Dream, in 2013. In addition she serves as an adjunct English professor at Motlow State Community College.


Friday, March 1, 2019

Why Writers Read


Eight Ways Being a Reader is Crucial for Writers

Note: this post first appeared in a slightly different form on January 24, 2019 at Robin's Nest.

I have been invited to speak to high school and middle school language classes. When we get to the question and answer part of what is the most important thing someone can do to prepare to be a writer, I tell them, “be a reader.” Those who cannot understand are doomed to be neither.

Girls, Reading, Read, Cute, Book, Education, HappyIt’s not too much to presume that people who want to play with words do so because they love them. It may be a love/hate relationship, but it must passionate, as passion undergirds story. If you have little experience with story, whether it’s someone else’s or your own, you are in no position to offer a tale to anyone else. As you can read between the lines above, being story—that is, living widely enough to be able to look back and appreciate the scenes that make up life—is the second part of an equation for authorship that has an endless answer like the square root of pi. For now we’ll focus on the first aspect—Why Read?
A person who wants to write literature but will not read it can sound like a human explaining to a guppy what it’s like to sit in a recliner and watch television. Anyone can learn the mechanics of language. People can learn to repeat a joke or assemble facts for a report, but a storyteller is an inventor. Inventors don’t generally birth a concept into an immediate, fully-functional working contraption without some apprenticeship, doodling, tweaking, and trial and error. A person with an idea who refuses to go through the work of developing that notion into a presentable product usually gives up, hires someone else, or fails.
Like inventors, authors are constantly learning. We learn from others, and from trial and error. Here are eight ways being a gluttonous reader helps writers.

Book, Read, Old, Literature, Pages, Books, Bookshelf

1, Osmosis. Yes, the sponge effect. By soaking up good stuff, it will seep into your membranes. You may not know initially why a sentence sounds good, or a piece of dialog has a great back-and-forth that just works, but  it will stay with you and you’ll have a better chance of spitting it back out in a sensible way. However, you know what happens when you let your sponge sit in unpleasant gunk. Rinse and repeat. Do this by

2, Reading carefully. Read from different large publishers and indies, as well as some self-published material. If you don’t have a library card, get one. Even rural communities have access to public libraries. Become such a good reader that you’ll be able to figure out if the publisher missed an error. Large publishers have several layers of editing and proofreading before they give a product to the public. Learn what sort of material is popular, and are good sellers, talked about, and why. You should also

3. Read widely, especially outside your genre. Include nonfiction, especially poetry, and fiction. Nonfiction takes a practical approach to a topic. There are often reference and notes about research. Fiction writers can find new avenues of research, and information that will make fiction that much closer to believability. Nonfiction authors can learn to put their material together in ways that create interest and intrigue. Poetry is the ultimate distillation of language to create story. If you don’t know poets, find some! Writers will have to create marketing material for their own work, which often includes back cover copy, a synopsis, a hook sentence, and a biography. This material should be attention-grabbing and poets know how to draw the essence from experience with a perfect word.

Books, Study, Literature, Learn, Stack, Bible, Paper4. Copy. Not plagiarize. Go ahead and keep a notebook of phrases that move you from the books you read. Why did that word or scene or sentence evoke emotion? How can you create that mood in your story? Begin to appreciate the doodling, the tweaking, the sweat that went into developing that moment. Know that quite likely, that phrase or sentence was the result of several minds mulling over the words. The author may have originated it, or perhaps the urging came from an agent or developmental editor. A copy editor may have requested a tweak. A publisher may have asked for an addition or deletion. Careful, studious readers can understand that writers will have to develop a working relationship with their editors and their readers. Careful readers will eventually come to appreciate the

5. Rules of language. Grammar. The mere presence of the word can be as frightening as the word algebra is to those of us who think it’s ridiculous there can be an endless answer to the square root of pi. Good readers should pick up some natural grammatical dynamics, general punctuation, and the understanding that syntax will guide your vocabulary choices. As an editor, however, I say this concept is wishful thinking more than it should be. Bibliophiles will need to spend some time undoing whatever it is that made you think it was okay to put a period outside of a quotation mark, or dangle prepositions, or misplace modifiers. Readers who learn grammar will unfortunately be utterly ruined for reading after some of the mystery of untangling language is revealed.

But, wait! Now writers who are qualified to know when it’s okay to break the rules will be inducted into the secret society of those who can break them well. You may not have even noticed the number of times I begin a sentence or a paragraph with a conjunction.  What you won’t know is how many adverbs and modifiers I removed or the tenses or plurals I adjusted in my self-edit, and that’s as it should be. Don’t be one of those authors who argue with their editor about how so-and-so author broke this-and-such rule. Don’t bother to hire an editor if you know everything. If you’re smart enough to know that you don’t know everything, you’ll be admitted to the inner circle of knowing when it’s okay for YOU to break the rules. Because writers who read know general rules, they see patterns. A single paisley flower in a plaid weave sticks out. So does your attempt to change points of view or use the wrong tense. These errors make writers look bad. It can affect your
Teachers, Meeting, Books, Reading, Group, Discussion6. Natural marketing and networking. If you ask for endorsements or reviews from authors you respect, but are turned down or get a bad review, readers are not inclined to spend money on a product they don’t think they will enjoy. They won’t tell others to buy the book, or worse, will tell others how bad it is. Word of mouth will always be the best marketing for any product or service. Authors who read should talk about what we’re reading and something about why we like it or think others will like it. We recommend books to book clubs, our friends, and our circles of influence. Those of us who teach use your work as material in our talks and workshops.

      7. Reading also shows us how to do Market Analysis for our own work. Reading other books like ours and comparing our work helps define our readership. And finally, reading authors

8. Help other authors with a REVIEW! Review books on as many social and publisher’s sites as you can. Use your name and website link. Reviewing is a great service networking with other authors and their readers.

Donut, Donuts, Dessert, Cake, Chocolate, Sweetness
Ultimately, our goal as Authors should be that we are Read. If all you want is to be published, that’s a pretty small niche. Anyone can get published these days. Any writer can write. An author shares a gift that multiplies and enlarges a reader’s spirit.

About the Author
Lisa Lickel has published numerous novels, short stories, novellas, articles, and radio plays. She is a mentor with Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp, Inc. Her latest series is Meow Mysteries. In Meow Mayhemafter being left at the altar, Ivy Amanda McTeague Preston uproots herself and her cat, an Egyptian Mau named Memnet, from her boring and lonely life to start over at the urging of Mayor Conklin, a fellow
pedigreed Mau owner. 

Ready to move in a fresh direction, Adam Thompson, accepts the mayor’s invitation and uproots himself and his beloved Mau, Isis, to open a branch of his trendy bookstore and coffee shop in the small town.

When Ivy takes a mysterious message while the mayor is away on business, only her criminology professor mom and Adam believe there’s something rotten in Apple Grove. Then Ivy discovers the community grant money that Adam was allotted to start the store is mysteriously being siphoned off, a dead body surfaces, and the victim’s missing Mau becomes the primary suspect. . .just another day in Ivy’s far-from-boring new life.

In love with Apple Grove and with Adam, Ivy hopes to carry on their romance while saving the town from further mayhem.


Meow Mayhem is available for order at your favorite bookstore, or from most online retailers, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and the publisher, in print, large print, and eBook format.
Publisher: Prism, a division of Pelican Book Group, LLC
Released January 25, 2019
344 pp.

PHOTOS are reprinted courtesy of Creative Commons through Pixabay.
Meow Mayhem cover is reprinted courtesy of Pelican Book Group LLC

Monday, February 18, 2019

"Perfect Love: God's Battle Plan for the Broken... and the Brokenhearted," by Brian Peart




Brian's Testimony.....

There I was, in the midst of a divorce to the woman I loved, lacking clarity, unsure of who I was and why was I here-I was broken…and broken-hearted.  In the middle of this horrible time, God reached down and pulled me out of the mire.  Step by step God guided me on how to overcome my past, how to plan my future and how to follow Him to a place higher than I had ever known.  He laid out a battle plan for me that took me from what seemed like an epic fail, to the greatest time of my life.  And He can do the same for you!  This is not a self-help book, it is a “God Help Book” and if you let the Lord lead, with the simple steps in this book, you will be amazed at the results.  God is powerful, let Him lead you higher…this book shows you how…

Here's a second thought from Brian....

Every one of us has pivotal moments in our lives that we can look back and point to as a key moment that marked a shift or a change. My divorce and the accompanying learning was one of those moments for me. Sometimes these moments are planned but most of the time they are thrust upon us. Some crisis or disruption forces us to look deep within ourselves and find a different course. Some people do quit when they hit those moments. They never recover. But some take those moments, learn the deep lessons, and rise to greater things. My hope is you are that second type. We learn more in the valleys. If you are broken or brokenhearted, you are not alone and it does not matter how you got here. The information I am about to share is straight from God’s Word and His wisdom can change your life if you let it. This can be your moment!  So let’s dive into perfect love and find out how to rise to our higher high!  

And because God is so good.....he used the words in this book to reconcile our marriage.  We were both able to heal and overcome fears and brokenness inside of ourselves.
This is not a self-help book, it is a “God Help Book” and if you let the Lord lead, with the simple steps in this book, you will be amazed at the results.  God is powerful, let Him lead you higher…this book shows you how…







January 2, 2018
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase Amazon Reviewer



About Brian Peart

Brian Peart is a successful businessman. He is a father of 6, two girls and 4 boys. He is a devoted follower of Jesus Christ with a heavy heart for the lost.
To connect with Brian Peart on Facebook, click here





Friday, February 15, 2019

Release of Book 2 of Fancy Cats by Lisa Lickel


Announcing Book #2 in the series!




EBook $5.99
Print $16.99 (March 1, 2019)

Buy online

Or order from your favorite bookseller

A Dead Reporter Found In A Foyer. Can Ivy Solve This Mystery Before Her Wedding Day

Ivy Preston has waited a long time to get married. This time she plans to do more than make it to the altar. But when Ivy tries to do a good deed and stumbles over a body, she and her former fiancé, Stanley, are accused of the crime. Ivy hopes she's not the only one who believes in their innocence.

Worse than being framed for murder, when one of her beloved kittens falls ill, Ivy must face her greatest fears. How will she ever parent a child if she can't even take care of a cat. . .and for that matter, how will she be the type of wife her devoted fiancé needs?

Through the love and support of her mom, fiancé, and friends, Ivy is determined to clear Stanley's good name, and her own. With nuptials looming, Ivy hopes not only to find a killer, but to make it to her own wedding.

Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter One


“This is Ivanna in the morning,” the throaty voice from my car radio chanted. “Ready to sign off. Remember, North Star Candies…the way to enjoy the day. Who doesn’t adore North Star mocha fudge? Treats so light they’ll take you beyond the moon!”
“Hmm, North Star might have been the best around here,” I told my car radio. “Before Featherlight Confectioneries made caramel cashew with sea salt.” I pulled into my driveway, the cool sunny breeze whipping my hair when I opened the car door. Yippee! Not only was March arriving like a lamb, I had presents. My mail carrier Janie knew I’d stop in at home at lunchtime to check on the kittens, so she’d left the beautiful box from Emblem Paper Works on my front stoop next to my still tightly budded tulips. Sigh.
I put my hand over my fluttering heart and drooled once again over the wonderful, fabulous hunk of man who was going to marry me. The box of wedding invitations sitting there pushed me one step closer to the altar, which I vowed I was actually going to make stick this time. When I could touch the scrumptious, thick, silky paper and read the words, I was sure the wedding would finally feel real, and everything would be perfect this time. Adam Truegood Thompson, the man who loved cats and children, fed me gourmet coffee and chocolate, would take me, Ivy Amanda Preston, as his lawfully wedded wife. Mmhmm.
OK, quit dawdling, grab the box of invites, which technically wasn’t a present since I paid for them, and check on the man’s kittens which were currently in residence at my house so their father wouldn’t be tempted to harm a hair on their little heads. Sadly, the darling fluffballs broke the line of pure-bred Egyptian Mau cats when my silver, Memnet, got to, um, know his cat Isis, a smoke, a little better than we’d anticipated last fall. Mem and Adam were currently batching it at his place downtown.
I called “kitty, kitty,” as I dumped the box on my kitchen table, even though Isis always gave me the eye, like what was this crazy woman doing? when I tried to get her to come. She would appear when she needed me. Which was rarely. The four kittens, on the other hand, bumbled over. I squatted to play with them.
The invitations called to me during the time I created a peanut butter and rhubarb jam sandwich and ate. I studied the siren carton while I jingled my car keys and dithered whether to open it now or wait for Adam so we could look at them together.
Guess which side won?
I used the handy-dandy key I happened to be holding to slice through the packing tape. Uh-oh, that color blue edging wasn’t what I remembered in my order. Flutter went thunk in my chest. I reached with a quivering hand and matching lip to lift out the sample invitation left open on top of the neatly sealed packages.
“You are cordially invited to attend the nuptials of Miss Ivanna Lynn Pressman and Mr. Jason Albert Carter…”
Oh, no.
I double-checked the address on the box. Yup, my name, Ivy Preston, and my address, 312 Marigold Street, Apple Grove, Illinois.
I picked up the sealed package of invitations and turned it over. From the outside they looked the same as the open one. I guessed our names were close enough to confuse, but I still felt wounded and anonymous. Ivanna, hmm? Exotic, nothing like me. It couldn’t be…seriously? Ivanna from the radio show? I looked again at the invitation. Their wedding was the weekend before mine. Ours. At Ethereal Events, the same venue Adam and I had booked for the last Sunday in June. I know, a Sunday, but it was the closest we could get to the end of May, Mother’s preferred date.
Fortunately, the invoice had Ivanna’s correct address—on the south edge of Apple Grove—and I thought I’d do the neighborly thing and take them over to her after work rather than waste time sending them back through the mail. Besides, ouch, those things were expensive enough already. I grabbed some tape from the drawer and quickly slapped it across my key slash, called “farewell and behave” to the cats and rushed back out the door.
As I started my car’s engine, I reached for the radio button, ready to catch a little of the afternoon show on WWAG, Apple’s Grove’s little radio station. Ivanna could be home when I went there. Hmm…I might get to meet a celebrity. Anticipation would make the afternoon wing by.
I drove the few blocks downtown to Mea Cuppa, the coffee and book store Adam owned and at which I now helped. The Apple Grove store was one of a small chain based in Chicago. Pushing the back door open, I called, “Martha, I’m back,” to our shop assistant and my neighbor who worked three days a week. “Anything exciting happen?”
She was a bouncy mom of twin kindergarteners who was overjoyed to let her mother and her husband’s parents share grandparent duties while she earned some needed money.
“When does anything exciting happen around here?” she said with a little toss of her reddish-blond hair nicely shaped to her head. I envied anyone who had such control of her hair. Mine tended toward the wild musk ox side. “Just that new order from the book distributor. I had them set it by the office door.”
“Thanks! I had a special delivery at home, too.”
“Do tell!” She rubbed her hands together.
“Of course! Be right back.” I went to put my purse away in my office desk and returned to the wide open, high-ceilinged room with narrow creaky wooden floorboards to help her prep for the afternoon coffee rush. Today’s coffee special was mocha mint, and of course I needed to sample some so I could eagerly explain its engaging qualities to our clientele. The hot mugful went down smoothly and I regretfully decided against seconds. I told Martha about the invitations instead, to keep my mouth too busy to stuff in more calories. “So, if that’s OK with your schedule, I want to take off fifteen minutes early so I can still meet Adam at Tiny’s for a quick supper after I drop off the box at Ivanna’s house. Can you lock up?”
“Sure, boss.” Martha grinned and popped a square of chocolate fudge from Featherlight Confectionaries in her mouth. “I’ll just ask Mom if she can get supper ready.”
I ordered myself to stop mentally drooling over fudge and a mom who would cook dinner at the drop of a hat and think of my upcoming wedding dress fitting. “I can’t imagine what it would be like, having parents so close.”
The bell on the door played, “Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day,” as customers entered. Much as I wished my mom lived physically closer, having a two-hour warning, the drive from Maplewood where I’d grown up in northern Illinois south to Apple Grove, was a relief before her tornadic visits. Adam’s father had passed away years ago and his mother had Alzheimer’s. Sad.
At five forty-five, Colleen Bailey, our after-school helper, and Martha were ably handling customers so I breezed back into the late afternoon light. Sunset was five minutes away and would be romantic by the time Adam and I held hands at the buffet for our too-brief connection of the day. He had an evening meeting—when didn’t he?—with some committee or other of the city council. Part time mayor was really time and a half, but he was happy and I was proud of him.
I needed sunglasses for the drive west and south, the approximate direction of Ivanna’s neighborhood. New townhouses clashed with the gentility of Apple Grove’s historic center. Progress, though, trumped desperate clinging to the past, something Adam was attempting to work on by bringing new businesses and life to our little adopted city.
There it was—Ivanna’s address, the right hand of a two-story dark-sided and narrow-windowed building. I supposed it was modern classic, but I frowned at its bleakness. The tree in the front yard was spindly, with its “I’m new and insured the first year” store tag fluttering in the breeze. I knocked and rang the bell before depositing the box on the rubber welcome mat. Weatherman Bob at WWAG reported possible showers in the early morning hours, so I hesitated leaving it exposed. As I reached to test the knob, I noticed the interior door was ajar. Maybe I should push it open and shove the box inside. I didn’t even have to set foot in the entry.
With a peek up and down the street, deserted for the dinner hour, I gingerly eased the glass storm door toward me, then tentatively pushed the black-painted interior door inward. Not even a squeak added to the spooky tension. I grinned. I’d been reading way too many mysteries and detective dramas lately. “Hello! Just dropping this off!” I called as I slid the box forward, though I was certain no one was home.
Except the outstretched fingers on the floor I happened to see looked too real to spring from an overactive imagination.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Creation Seeker series by William Burt

The Lake Lights (The Creation Seekers Book 1) by [Burt, William D.]


Young Adult religious fiction
Ebook $4.99
Print $13.95
Buy on Amazon US

A list of reviews and other information including resources can be found on Greencloaks.com

About the Book
What are the mysterious lights flitting above Oregon's Oswego Lake on moonlit nights? Marsh gas? Ball lightning? Holdovers from the dawn of Creation? Or not-so-mythical creatures slinking in the shadows of half-remembered Scottish legends?

When young Jonathan Oliver makes it his personal project to track down the source of the elusive Lake Lights, his search takes him to Iron Mountain’s abandoned Prosser Mine and its whispered, age-old secrets. After his brilliant physicist father is kidnapped by Taliban insurgents in the wilds of Afghanistan, a grieving Jon is left to decode a cryptic message leading to yet more mysteries and a remarkable, game-changing invention.

While Jon and his grandfather concoct their own contraption to explore the Prosser Mine, they must also match wits with a devious, unscrupulous scientist who will stop at nothing to steal the device Jon has found and sell it to a shadowy criminal organization. Jon’s dual discoveries not only help him to deliver his city from total annihilation but also ultimately rock the scientific world to its very foundations.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Sandra Barker and Old Testament Gems


Ancient Treasure: Old Testament Gems

Ancient Treasure – Old Testament Gems
Sandra Barker
January, 2019
Nonfiction

Ebook $2.99
Print $12.99 

Buy on

About the Book
What do you think of the Old Testament of the Bible? Does it seem boring? Old and dusty? Intimidating? Like a fable? This book can help you get over those negative preconceptions. The Old Testament is alive and exciting! Its truths apply to our lives today and its relevant to our current world. 

This book of Ancient Treasure contains Old Testament Gems – key stories from the beginning of time in Genesis, all the way through its final book of Malachi. The stories are written in an easy to understand format, accurate and informative. They even include pictures for extra interest. Practical applications offer a personal touch with helpful insight to modern needs. This book will help you grasp the truths God continues to use in our lives and glimpse wonderful attributes of our heavenly Father revealed in His Word. 

Discover how the Old Testament is a rich story of the past, present and future.

The Author
Sandra Julian Barker
Sandra Julian Barker wrote hundreds of articles for two newspapers before branching out into magazines, short stories and novels. She has a story in "Chicken Soup for the Mothers Soul," and published her first novel, Ivory & Ice in 2013. Her greatest joy is found in writing inspirational pieces that inspire others and bring glory to God. Visit Sandra on her blog, Joyful Writer.


Sunday, January 27, 2019

Miura's Healer wins awards


Glad Tidings from our Members!

Rejoice with Susan Miura, whose book, Healer, won a bronze in the Readers' Favorite awards for YA and a 1st place in the Story Monsters Royal Dragonfly awards for fiction. 


Vinspire Publishing has scheduled the sequel for release at the end of August, 2019. 

See the trailer and review.

About the Book
Hovering just below the surface of Shilo Giannelli's average existence lays an amazing spiritual power. Late one night, her world erupts with the revelation that, like her great-grandmother, she has The Gift. But the power to heal isn't something she can share with the soccer team, her genius little sister, or her boyfriend, Kenji. Definitely not Kenji.

Deep beneath Misty Morning's tough façade is a lifetime of abandonment, foster homes and broken dreams. When her two-year-old son is abused by her boyfriend, her fragile world shatters...until Shilo prays for Tyler, and he is healed, leaving Misty grateful but incredibly curious.

Shilo can't give Misty the answers she needs; she only knows she has a God-given destiny, and despite facing strained relationships, impossible decisions, and the threat of being hounded day and night for her abilities, she will fulfill it.

The journey Misty and Shilo take together unites them as friends but invites danger into their lives. And it will take a miracle for these unlikely friends to elude a gang bent on revenge, keep The Gift a secret, trust God in extraordinary circumstances, and hold on to the people they love.

Vinspire Publishing
Ebook $2.99
Print $18.99
Buy on Amazon US

Friday, January 11, 2019

Writing Craft Post Comma Sense

5 Necessary Comma Uses
By Lisa Lickel
Note: This post first appeared on Author Culture in 2016.

Commas and apostrophe misuse in rampant in the world. I’ve heard everything from “stick one in when you need to take a breath” to avoid them at the end of lists. I submit to you that if the only reason you put a comma in your sentence is when you want your reader to take a breath, your sentence is too long. If you don’t use one between the last two disparate actions or objects in a list, you end up with the classic Eats Shoots & Leaves  - both the English and American versions.

8600
Commas are needed to avoid confusion. They are needed to circumvent run-ons which can result in multiple meanings. They are necessary to prevent dangling and misplaced modifiers. Besides office-type little usages, there are five particular places to use commas in American English. (Read Eats Shoots &Leaves for Queen’s English usages.)


One:
Use a comma after an introductory word/interjection/direct address of a person, or phrase. Be consistent.

Oh, what a beautiful morning!
Hello, world.
Why, whatever could you mean?
Beatrice, please pass the potatoes.
Mother, may I?
When encountering a UFO, one must attempt a peaceful greeting before shooting.
If you bring me eggs, I will make omelets for breakfast.
Yes, sir.
No, ma’am. (This usage with just the two words is becoming more rare…omitting a comma is acceptable as long as it’s consistent. But it’s awkward when you have to use one in a longer introductory phrase.)

Two:
Use a comma with dialog tags THAT DEFINE a manner of speech NOT an action.

“Please pass the potatoes,” Beatrice said/whispered/yodeled. (NOT smiled, laughed, frowned)
She said, “If you bring me eggs, I will make omelets.”
“Yes, sir,” Mother said.

Three:
Use a comma to separate INDEPENDENT clauses. I’m not always sure how this happened but think of it this way: If you can separate a sentence in to two sentences that can stand alone (not counting a conjunction or joining word) use a comma. If one part of the sentences is a fragment (not a complete sentence), then do not use a comma.

We gathered eggs, and then we made omelets.
The new house is finished, and the garage is large enough to hold our two vehicles.
Hold on to your dreams, yet take care of practical matters.
Beatrice asked Mom to make her wedding dress and scheduled fittings.

Four:
Use a comma to surround a parenthetical phrase or word. Think of it this way: If you include a phrase that adds to or defines something that you could put in parentheses, use commas on BOTH sides of where you would use parentheses. The parenthetical phrase is something that, if removed, doesn’t necessarily change the meaning of the sentence, or add to the main idea, or it interrupts briefly the main thought. NOTE: The use of commas surrounding appositives—words that rename the preceding noun—are not always absolutely necessary unless there is potential confusion or multiple objects.

Tell Phyllis she may bring her cat and kittens, along with her poodle Toby, on the trip.
My aunt and uncle, John and Barbara, were invited to the wedding.
My sister Beatrice is getting married.
His son John will soon be five years old.
Toby and Fifi, our pets, will be lonely without us.
In the future, however, we won’t need to carry money.

Five:
Use commas to separate items in a list or actions or a series. Use a comma between ALL of the items, including the last two items if they are separate items/actions/nouns, etc. Likewise, use a comma between adjectives that can be reversed.

Beatrice set the table with the good china, soup bowls, cloth napkins, and silverware.
Mother called Jimmy, Bobby, and Susan to lunch.
Jennifer ordered eggs benedict with her toast and jam.
Pack a sweater and jeans along with your toothbrush, camera, and suntan lotion.
It’s going to be a hot, windy day.
My aunt’s new house is a two-story, red brick mansion.

Office biz:
Use commas to separate numbers over a thousand (no space)—EXCEPT in page numbers or calendar years:

There were 1,114 in attendance.
Please turn to page 1114 in your textbooks.
In the year 2525, people will no longer need money to trade.
Your tax bill comes to $3,425.

Use commas to separate dates, addresses, and cities and countries, or states or other municipalities (space):

My cousin was born on July 23, 1977.
We visited Winnipeg, Canada in October of 2005.
I celebrated my work anniversary on February 17, 1988.
We live at 245 Sunnybrook Lane, Vanay, Oceana.
Beatrice’s new address is 711 First Street, Sinclair, Virginia 00555. (no comma before zip code)
Madison, Wisconsin is a beautiful capital city.
 
Use commas in opening and closing letters/communication:

Dear Sir,
Please accept this letter of intent…

Sincerely,

Elizabeth

Finally, this article should be required reading for everyone. Please read it. Please.
Grammarly talks comma.

***
Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin author who loves books, collects dragons, and writes inspiring fiction. She also writes short stories, feature articles, and radio theater, and loves to encourage new authors through mentoring, speaking, and leading workshops. Lisa is a member of the Wisconsin Writer’s Association, the Chicago Writer’s Association, and vice president/instructor for Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp and Writing Retreat, Inc. She is an avid book reviewer and blogger, and a freelance editor. Find more at www.LisaLickel.com.

Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2bPxi2X


Her release, Centrifugal Force, is book 2 in the Forces of Nature fiction series.

A secret love child, a stolen ring, and international blackmail pivot on the power to forgive

In the turmoil of 2011, an American college administrator and a German socio-economics expert attempt to rectify the past to save their children and preserve the fragile world in crisis. 

Rachel Michels made a poor choice which resulted in her biggest blessing, her daughter, Maeve. When the father of that blessing returns decades later, she knows he wants something she’d taken from him. Rachel has lived in near seclusion and mistrust, fearful of losing the one person who’s kept her life from coming unglued. 

Professor Gervas Friedemann returns to Wisconsin, seeking a missing ancient artifact, along with help for his oldest daughter who is suffering from a rare genetic blood disorder. With the European Union at stake, blackmail could negatively impact a crucial vote in the German Parliament unless Gervas recovers an irreplaceable relic he left in the United States on a lecture tour a lifetime ago. He knows who took the piece of history he once flaunted—the woman who had stolen his soul. He only hopes she still has the ring.

Coming March 1, 2019, Parhelion, book 3 in the Forces of Nature series.
Parhelion—prisms dogging the sun. it’s a rainbow hope of reaching the stars for a small group of
colonists preparing to preserve life.


If humanity wants to survive, there should be ground rules.

Maeve Michels hit earth hard, falling in love with a former Air Force test pilot. No longer in the military, Harry Kane’s mysterious work as a consultant for a space engineering company piques Maeve’s interest. Maeve’s sixth sense says there’s more to Harry than he’s telling her, but with the world about to fall apart, she must decide to trust him with her future. Harry is keeping a secret from Maeve—he has to, or his one chance at being a real hero goes up in flames with the rest of the planet. His assignment: get her to join the program, and him. Hopefully willingly.

With war no longer empty threats and posturing, Maeve and Harry are about to take part in the most important experiment in human history. Bigger secrets threaten not only their survival but their fragile co-existence with the cosmos.

If you could choose, what kind of a world do you want to live in?

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Take control of personal finances with Pamela Carmichael

The Financial Empowerment Workbook: A Biblical & Systematic Guide to Manage & Restore Your Finances

Financial Empowerment Workbook
Pamela Carmichael

Living Success Publishers
Released 2018
Nonfiction, inspirational financial management
Print $19.97 (discount for multiple copies)

Buy the book on Amazon 

About the Book
Is it possible to have financial empowerment? Can you possibly get a handle on your finances even in challenging economic times? Absolutely. Pamela Carmichael has developed a system that proves to work consistently. It is a biblical yet systematic approach to your finances. This workbook will challenge you to take a hard look at your finances by digging deep into your mental and emotional connection to money. In each section of the workbook you will examine your world-view on a specific aspect of money including the God-perspective and the practical steps to get your finances in order. Packed with exercises and worksheets, you will gradually address nine key areas of personal finance: creating wealth, tithing, saving, giving, investing, spending, borrowing, lending and planning. You will take a more thorough examination of any issues and misconceptions you have regarding your finances and take action that aligns with God’s will for you. If you are ready for the challenge, if you want to realign your finances to God’s will and restore your financial strength, then this workbook is for you. BUY now. Scroll Up and get a copy today and become financially empowered!

Lisa’s review
“While using this book you will be challenged to examine your heart, your attitude, your relationship to Christ. Much of what we do with our money is a reflection of how we view God and money and how we relate or do not relate to Him.”

And so begins your journey to gain control over your finances. With gentle encouragement and tough scriptural lessons, the author shows readers how to manage money in a personally functional way. Carmichael opens the book by offering readers a downloadable spreadsheet to use.

Chapters and exercises cover attitudes from negative “life happens” events to practical advice on how and where to organize electronic financial records, passwords, account numbers, and so forth.

Definitely take advantage of the author’s downloadable worksheets. It would behoove the reader to go ahead and fill out the answers to the questions such as “Why aren’t you saving money?” or What keeps you from being a fearless giver?

Packed with great, hard-hitting advice, tips, and lessons, Carmichael’s approach to personal financial organization might open your eyes. Recommended for those who would like to take better control over this crucial aspect of living, or those who simply want to learn how to keep better track of their income and outflow.

Pamela Carmichael 
About the Author
PAMELA CARMICHAEL is a financial services professional with over 18 years’ experience. With a desire to see Christians grow in the area of personal financial management, she wrote the award-winning title "Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God's Will."

As a Christian author, speaker and coach, Pamela hopes the work she shares will help you grow and become financially empowered as you apply God's principles to your personal financial management strategies.

Pamela has a passion to see God's people move from struggle to success not only financially but in all areas of life. Connect with Pamela via her blog at http://www.pamelavcarmichael.com.





Saturday, December 8, 2018

Book Review by Lorilyn Roberts - Meow Mistletoe by Lisa Liskel




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Meow Mistletoe by Lisa Lickel is a delightful, light-hearted yarn that entertains to the very last page. Filled with Christmas mirth and stoked with charming wit, the reader with be swooped off into the eccentric world of cat lovers, romantic comedy, and small-town sleuths hunting down small-town crooks. Being a cat lady myself, I found myself wanting to attend that Christmas party with all my cats in tow—I’d fit right in and so would my four-legged friends!

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If you enjoy wholesome, good-old fashion entertainment with a few laughs, a few surprises, and a few twists and turns, stoked by cats that are just being cats, read this creative charm. I have to admit, I’d never read a cat book before, but with Meow Mistletoe, I’ve discovered a new genre. Whoever knew that romantic cat sleuth stories could be so entertaining?

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I highly recommend getting away from stress and enjoying a little light-hearted humor and mystery. Allow yourself to unwind. Grab a cup of coffee, sit by a warm fire, and read Meow Mistletoe. If you’re like me, you may even want to read it more than once. I loved it that much!

Only 99c for a limited time.



To learn more about Lisa Lickel visit her website at https://www.lisalickel.com/