Today I'm sharing a newsletter from Karen Cioffi with you that you may find interesting. Enjoy.
Coming to a Close – 2015 Just Before Us, Bright and Shiny This week
is a New Year that brings amazing things: opportunity for a fresh start, renewed
hope, possibilities, and even new beginnings.
Mark Twain said, “Twenty
years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do
than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe
harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream,
Make 2015 a year of action rather than
start the New Year, I tried to find quotes I haven’t shared before, or at least
ones I haven’t shared recently. Below are 10 I find inspirational. Hope you do
“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to
win or lose.” ~ Lyndon B. Johnson
“You miss 100% of the shots you
don’t take.” ~ Wayne Gretzky
"For every minute you are angry you lose
sixty seconds of happiness." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday." ~ Dale Carnegie
you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” ~
“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to
lose sight of the shore.” ~ Christopher Columbus
“I am not a product
of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” ~ Stephen
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a
tree a long time ago.” ~ Warren Buffet
“If a man empties his purse into
his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always
pays the best interest.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
“You’ll never change your
life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is
found in your daily routine.” ~ John C. Maxwell
To add to these
motivational quotes for the New Year, I have a powerful goal setting and
achieving ebook for you. It's free and you can (and should) share it. It’s
absolutely worth reading. Here's the
This week I'm going to finish the story I've been working on for at least two years. I am. I am. I think I'm on the right track now. It's gone through a lot of changes, and I really like the characters now.
Addressing Christmas cards is also on my to do list.
Send cards to family in California and South Carolina.
Some of the cards I'm mailing have Cardinals on them. Well, I have my own Cardinals. Take a look. This one was on the fence outside the back door.
The crest isn't noticeable on this one. I don't know why.
Today, I have the pleasure of spotlighting my dear friend and fantastic Author Janet K. Brown's latest novel.
This is a lovely cover. Such a sweet smile.
Back Cover Blurb:
How can a woman who gives to everyone but herself accept God’s love and
healing when she believes she’s fat, unworthy, and unfixable? Can she be Worth Her Weight?
LACEY CHANDLER helps her mother, her
sister, her friend, and then she binges on food and wonders is there really a
BETTY CHANDLER hates being handicapped and
useless, so she lashes out at the daughter that helps, and the God who doesn’t
seem to care.
TOBY WHEELER loves being police chief in
Wharton Rock, but when the devil invades the small town, he can’t release
Is God enough in
Excerpt from Worth Her Weight
By six, Lacey arrived home, ready to
flop. Her mother sat on a chair in the kitchen, her cane propped against her.
Lacey carried in the pizza boxes and
set them on the table.
Rachel clapped her hands and climbed
into a chair beside her grandma.
Without a word, Mom held out a letter
A cold shiver shook her—the same
foreboding she had sensed in the morning. “What’s this?”
Her mother shrugged. “Came in today’s
Lacey opened it, her Mom watching as
She threw the paper across the room.
It bounced halfway back to her. “Well, if that doesn’t take the cake.” She
paced, her heels clicking on the scratched and scarred kitchen tiles. The noise
level grew louder when she snatched plates from the cabinet and dropped them to
“Save the dishes.” Mom’s tone was
dry, with no humor.
Something like a growl escaped
Lacey’s lips. “Katie makes the messes. Lacey cleans them up. Isn’t that right,
Mom?” She crossed her arms over her chest and glared at her mother. “Did you
know about this?” Her fingers began drumming on her opposite forearm. Her jaw
got so tight, it hurt.
Her mother shook her head. She
glanced at Rachel.
The anger was difficult for Lacey to
swallow, but she tried. “Sweetie, go wash your hands before we eat.”
The child scooted a chair toward the
Lacey halted her. “Go to the bathroom
and use the stool there.” Her voice shook from her effort at control.
Rachel looked at the pizza with
longing, but she obeyed.
The pepperoni and mozzarella aroma permeated
the house. Nausea churned in Lacey’s stomach despite how good it smelled.
“Has Katie gone?” Mom asked with a
In contrast, Lacey nearly yelled. “Of
course, she has!”
The lines in Mom’s face seemed to
deepen. Her skin paled. Lacey was sure the cane was the only thing that kept
Mom from falling as she coped with the pain inflicted by her favorite daughter.
The fight had gone out of Lacey. Her
knees wobbled. She eased into a chair and nodded. “She wants me to have custody
of Rachel. She doesn’t even want her own daughter, Mom. What kind of woman
walks away from her flesh and blood?”
Both women turned when a whimper came
from the living room.
Heat rushed up Lacey’s neck. She
jumped up and ran, wishing she could erase her careless words.
Rachel curled into a ball on the
sofa, her right thumb inserted firmly in her mouth.
“Aunt Lacey’s sorry. I didn’t mean
what I said.”
Rachel sucked harder, pulling it out
momentarily to speak. “Is my mama coming to get me today?”
“No, sweetheart, not today. Maybe
another day.” She patted her niece’s bare legs.
There was no sound except the
sucking. Lacey sat on the floor patting and wondering what to say or do. A clap
of thunder reminded her of the unsettled clouds. “I need to go close my car
windows. I’ll be right back.”
She ran outside, started the car, and
raised her driver’s side window. Just as she got back inside, the downpour
Mom still sat at the kitchen table,
her head in her hands. She rose, grabbing her cane. Red puffy eyes alerted
Lacey to her mother’s tears, something that seldom happened.
Compassion knocked at Lacey’s heart,
but she locked it out, when she realized the tears were all for Katie.
Lacey sat on the floor beside Rachel.
“You ready for some pizza?” Lacey wanted kids one day, but she wanted her own
with a husband by her side. She couldn’t attract a man, but now she had a
Mom plopped into her recliner. “Do
you think food will fix everything?”
“Works for me.” Lacey tried a teasing
note. “Whenever things go wrong, food makes it better.” She huffed at Mom and
grimaced. “Didn’t you know that?” Good thing she hadn’t planned on the cruise.
She crunched up the pamphlet and threw it in the trash along with a few other
dreams. She’d stay fat and lonely.
Pen-L is offering a 10% discount if pre-ordered before
Christmas. Since it will release on Dec. 16, in most cases, it can still be
shipped and received in time for Christmas delivery.
Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas
with her husband, Charles. Writing became her second career after retirement
from medical coding.
Worth Her Weight will be the author’s
debut inspirational women’s fiction, but it makes a perfect companion to her
recently released, Divine Dining: 365
Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness. Both
books encompass her passion for diet, fitness, and God’s Word.
Her Weight marks Brown’s third book. Who knew she had a penchant for teens
and ghosts? She released her debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, in July, 2012.
AsI look at the calendar I wonder where 2014 has gone. What have I accomplished this year? What will the new year bring? My house is beginning to look festive. Here are a couple of examples.
Now, I must start shopping.
If you're still looking for the perfect gift for the young ones in your family, don't forget books. I'm having a special on my print books. $10.00 a copy, signed, and I pay the shipping. The titles are all listed in the links above. I have most of them, except for Star of the Team. Have ordered more copies, but have no idea when they'll arrive. I can also send ebook copies in all formats of A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat, as well as I Life in a Doghouse. The ebooks are only $1.00. If you're interested, email me Beverlysmcclure (at) aol (dot) com.
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Second, it's out, yay, the book we've all been waiting for.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond is available for downloading. Thanks to everyone who contributed – it is packed with information! Please help us spread the word about this awesome book.
Tapping into the expertise of over a hundred talented authors from around the globe, The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond contains something for every writer. Whether you are starting out and need tips on the craft of writing, looking for encouragement as an already established author, taking the plunge into self-publishing, or seeking innovative ways to market and promote your work, this guide is a useful tool. Compiled into three key areas of writing, publishing, and marketing, this valuable resource offers inspirational articles, helpful anecdotes, and excellent advice on dos and don'ts that we all wish we knew when we first started out on this writing journey.
It's the first Wednesday in December, and you know what that means.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
To see other places to visit on the Blog Hop click here.
When Do You Stop?
My post today is about revising, revising and revising. When is the story the best I can make it? My current WIP has been revised so many times I've lost count. I've sent it to an editor. Her suggestions and comments called for more revisions. My crit partners, bless their precious hearts, have read the story over and over and offered their thoughts. More revisions. I'm reading through the revision, revision, revisions and still making changes.
Other stories are floating around in my head, wanting to be told. So, this week, I've decided no more. After this final crit and revisions, I'm sending my baby into the world. I hope she's treated kindly and finds a home. If not, we'll see. But for now, I've done all I can do. So I'll write that query and synopsis and say "Goodbye" at least for a while.
How about you? How many times do you revise a story?
Title: A Year in the Life of the Secret Garden | Author: Valarie Budayr | Illustrator: Marilyn Scott-Waters | Publication Date: November, 2014 | Publisher: Audrey Press | Pages: 144 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 99
Book Description: Award-winning authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters have co-created A Year in the Secret Garden to introduce the beloved children’s classic, The Secret Garden to a new generation of families. This guide uses over two hundred full color illustrations and photos to bring the magical story to life, with fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages. Each month your family will unlock the mysteries of a Secret Garden character, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book.Over 140 pages, with 200 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. A Year In the Secret Garden is our opportunity to introduce new generations of families to the magic of this classic tale in a modern and innovative way that creates special learning and play times outside in nature. This book encourages families to step away from technology and into the kitchen, garden, reading nook and craft room.
You can purchase your very own copy of this gorgeous book for only $15 (a savings of $5) directly from Audrey Press between Dec. 1 and 7, 2014. PLUS, if you miss these dates, you can still purchase the book between December 8 and 31, 2014 for $15 using the code word "SECRETGARDEN".
"A Year in the Secret Garden is a treasure trove of activities, crafts, games, recipes and information all related to the classic children's book, The Secret Garden, bringing to life this wonderful book to a new generation of readers. I cannot recommend this beautifully illustrated and detailed, information-packed book highly enough to parents, homeschoolers, teachers, and librarians." ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
"The authors love of the Secret Garden book comes through SO clearly and I am a student of literature so I loved it for the explanations and history of what was happening." ~ WS Momma Readers Nook
Guest Post by Author Valarie Budayr: "A brief article on A Year in The Secret Garden" ~ Coffee, Books & Art
"A perfect book not only for the summer activities but all through the year. Truly it shows the way into the SECRET GARDEN." ~ Eloquent Articulation
"These ladies have created a fabulous book that can stand alone or be used as companion to the classic either in a classroom setting, or homeschool setting or for anyone that loves to share great literature and activities with their children." ~ Adalinc to Life
"While the children enjoyed the activities associated with this book, I was entranced by the beautiful water color illustrations and the scrumptious looking images of foods to make. I am certain that any person who grew up hoping to find that secret key to let them into an enchanting garden will fall in love with the magic inside this book to share with their children." ~ Books, Babies and Bows
Interview with Illustrator, Marilyn Scott-Waters: "A Year in the Secret Garden Interview" ~ Pragmatic Mom
"This would make such a nice Christmas gift for a young one to grow up with. Why not add a copy of the reading book and maybe even the DVD and some supplies to do an activity or two. " ~ The Blended Blog
"It is a wonderful, hands on, practical way to take kids on a journey back in time and see how children and families lived in another era." ~ Hide-N-(Sensory)-Seeking
Month by Month Guide
Indian Style Chicken Curry
Character Study: Mary Lennox
Cutouts of the Secret Garden Characters
The English Garden
Character Study: Mrs. Medlock
Plastic Bag Jump Rope
Jump Rope Rhymes
Shovel, Shovel, Spade
Character Study: Ben Weatherstaff
Bringing in the Evergreen
Yorkshire Pudding Toad-in-a-Hole
The Oak King vs. The Holly King
The Story of Mistletoe
Character Study: Martha Sowerby
Wutherin' Wind Flags
Character Study: Dickon Sowerby
Perfectly Good Porridge with Treacle
Garden in a Jar
Death in Victorian England
Character Study: Archibald Craven
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Seed Paper & Packets
Grow-Me Seed Paper
Class of Hunger
Character Study: Colin Craven
Dickon’s Felt Creatures
The World of Mason Bees
Making of a Mason Bee House
Old British Money
Character Study: Dr. Craven
Freezer Strawberry Jam
Planting a Rose Bush
Character Study: Lilias Craven
A Midsummer Garden Tea Party
Rainbow Fruit Kabobs
Simply Divine Lemon Cookies
Daisy Chain Crowns
Midsummer Dancing Ribbon Wreaths
Character Study: Victorian/Edwardian Family Life
The Secret Meal
Tin Foil Breakfast
The Cooking Campfire
Creating a Garden Journal
Blindfolded Garden Walk
Colin’s Magic Chant and Affirmations
Character Study: Susan Sowerby
Scones and Ginger Tea
A Taste of Summer
Paper Garden Model
Garden Games for Family and Friends
Blind Man’s Bluff
Character Study: Frances Hodgson Burnett
About the Author: Valarie Budayr
Valarie Budayr loves reading and bringing books alive. Her popular website, www.jumpintoabook.com, inspires children and adults alike to experience their books through play, discovery, and adventure.
She is founder of Audrey Press, an independent publishing house, as well as an Amazon and iTunes best-selling author. She has written The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden and The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Valarie is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and encouraging families and schools to pull books off the shelves and stories off the pages.
Marilyn Scott-Waters loves making things out of paper. Her popular website, www.thetoymaker.com, receives 2,000 to 7,000 visitors each day, who have downloaded more than six million of her easy-to-make paper toys. Her goal is to help parents and children spend time together making things.
She is the creator of a paper toy craft book series The Toymaker’s Christmas: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling), and The Toymaker’s Workshop: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling). She is also the co-creator with J. H. Everett of the middle grade nonfiction series, Haunted Histories, (Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt Books for Young Readers). Ms. Scott-Waters illustrated The Search For Vile Things (Scholastic), and created paper engineering for Pop & Sniff Fruit (Piggy Toes Press).
Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: December 31, 11:59 pm, 2014
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
Help me welcome Award Winning Author Darby Kaye (aka Darby Karchut) today, with a new novel a bit different from her earlier novels.
Oh, boy! Look at that eye!
THE STAG LORD
Urban Fantasy for Adults
Synopsis: "On the run across America from a vengeful shape-shifter, Bannerman "Bann" Boru has only one thing on his mind: keeping himself and his young son, Cor, alive.
At any cost.
Until he meets Shay Doyle, healer and member of a secret group of immortal Celtic warriors, the Tuatha de Danaan, living in modern-day Colorado. When Cor is injured, Bannerman is forced to accept her help. He quickly realizes that the golden-haired healer is shield-maiden tough and can hold her own on the field of battle with the big boys. And Shay soon discovers that there is more to Bann than meets the eye.
Learn more about Darby Kaye and The Stag Lord
Here is the Netgalley link: https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/56542
Darby was also kind enough to write a guest post for us. Here's what she has to say about turning out so many books a year.
I’ve always approached my writing as a profession. And, like any profession, it has its deadlines and commitments. Commitments to my publishing team as well as commitments to my readers.
Some of these helpful hints listed below I have gleaned from other authors, while others, I have discovered on my own. Each writer should use what works for him or her. Writing is an individual process – it doesn’t matter how you get to the end of your book, just keep writing.
Write five days a week and try to hit 1,000 words a day. 20 weeks = 100,000 words = an adult novel.
Or write five days a week and try to hit 500 words a day.20 weeks = 50,000 words = a middle grade novel
Write every day. As many words as you can.
Write badly. You can always fix stuff later.
Read the last two chapters you wrote to get you warmed up, then start writing
Write whenever you have a 15 minute block of time
Stop each day in the middle of a scene that you are excited about – that will give you momentum when you come back to it tomorrow. I think it was Hemingway who did this.
If you have do research, just tag that spot, and keep writing your quota for the day. Do the research later, unless you absolutely need it to move the story forward
Write the big scenes first, then fill in around them.
Or write the ending first, then the beginning, then fill in the middle.
I hope some of these are helpful. I would be curious to hear other writers’ suggestions.
So would I because I write so sloooowww.
Here are my thoughts on THE STAG LORD.
THE STAG LORD Review
By Darby Kaye
Have you ever known a family that loved one another so much they’d do almost anything for the others, even to the point of death? Have you ever read a book with characters that made you want to be a member of their family because you knew no matter what was happening in your life, they had your back, no matter the cost?
If you’d like to meet a family like the above, then Award Winning Author Darby Kaye’s debut novel for adults, THE STAG LORD, is exactly what you need. Ms. Kaye, who also writes MG and YA novels under the name of Darby Karchut, has entered a new world with her writing in a big way, with a novel that will touch your heart and leave you wanting more. Bannerman Boru, AKA Bann, and his eight-year-old son, Cor, want to get away from the horror of his wife’s death and the betrayal of his people. Fate seems to have other plans for Bann when he meets Shay Doyle, a healer and Fey. Bann is also Fey, and they are soon in a battle to save Cor’s life.
One of the things I really like about THE STAG LORD is the family ties. Shay has a slew of cousins and relatives that all pull together to help the boy and man they’ve just met. The author adds a romance between Shay and Bann that helps to gentle the violence in the story. Max, the dog, who plays an important role, is one of my favorite characters. What I love most in this novel is the father, son relationship between Bann and Cor. He’s not a perfect father. He makes mistakes and admits he does, but his son is Bann’s top priority.
I cried. I laughed. I held my breath. Darby Kaye did a beautiful job with descriptions of the monsters, the land, and also the grisly scenes. The sequel is due out in December, 2015. What? We have to wait a whole year?