Category Archives: Guest post

Making your work an audiobook – guest post with KM Carroll

Welcome my friend, K. M. Carroll, who writes imaginative Fantasy books. She’s written an interesting short article about getting started narrating your own work. To find her books, go to her Amazon author page. Recommended! 

Audiobooks are exploding right now. There’s lots of articles talking about how everybody likes to listen to books on their phones, like this one. Listening to books on your commute is another one. I’m constantly seeing cozy mystery readers who are frustrated that their favorite series aren’t available on audiobook yet (especially people whose eyesight isn’t so good.)

I’ve been tossing around the idea of narrating my own books, for example, my cozy dragon mysteries. They have a female protagonist, and I think it would be a good fit. But I need to practice. So when somebody asked me if I planned to turn my fanfics into audiobooks, I thought, why not?

The fun thing about fanfics is I don’t have to mess with Audible. I can drop them on Youtube without worrying about Audible’s strict sound quality requirements. I can flounder around and make production mistakes and have volume issues and nobody cares because, hey, fanfic.

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Thunderhead and pirate ship by Ebineyland

My hubby gets up at 4:30 AM most mornings for work. I get up with him, and after he leaves, I have about an hour before the kids wake up. Beautiful, beautiful silence. So that’s when I sit and record a chapter, which usually takes about ten minutes. My hubby has a very nice microphone that I commandeer.

I still had a bit of echo after my first few attempts, so I scoured the internet for workarounds. A lot of people record in their closets, where the hanging clothes muffle the sound. My closet is about eighteen inches deep and filled with junk, so that’s not an option. Then I found a podcasting tips website. This podcast is more like a radio drama. They recommended recording with a duvet draped over you and the mic. I tried it, and my background echo vanished. People are so brilliant.

Over the course of several weeks, I recorded all fourteen chapters of a fanfic. I learned to repeat a phrase if I stuttered or coughed or something, which made clipping it out during editing so much easier. I used an old, free version of Adobe Audition. I had used it years ago, when it was Cool Edit Pro, before Adobe acquired it. I know how to use the program well enough to remove background noise and things like that.

Then I actually listened to my recording. Egads, I thought. I’m BORING. I read like a robot. I enunciate very carefully, and I do the voices decently, but the straight narration! It’s so dull! How do professional audiobook narrators pull it off?

Well, the best ones are all actors, for one thing. You’re giving a performance.

I went ahead and posted my boring performance–it’s just a fanfic and it’s good practice–and now I’m starting on a second one. This time I’m trying to be more expressive and really perform. It’s quite a bit harder than just reading!

I thought I’d put this out there for other authors who are considering narrating their own audiobooks. Practice first! What sounds good as you read it may sound pretty dull when you’re playing it back.

K. M. Carroll has been writing fantasy since her teen years. Her current project is the Spacetime Legacy series, a YA urban fantasy about teens with time and space magic. In the mundane realms of real life, she is a stay at home mom with four fantasy-loving children.

Find her blogging at kmcarroll.wordpress.com or on Facebook

This article has been reposted from the author’s website by permission.

Bev out!

Don’t Call Me Missionary – Guest Post

Today’s guest is Chad Owens who has a very honest take on being a…gulp.

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For me the most surprising thing about publishing a book has been the large amount of positive responses I’ve received. When I wrote Don’t Call Me Missionary I didn’t expect anyone would read it. I thought if anyone did ever read it, they would dislike it. So when I started getting emails and comments about how much people enjoyed the book instead of angry emails, I was very surprised.

You might wonder why I would write something that I thought people would dislike. You have to understand that I never really wanted to become a missionary. When you prepare to become one, there can be a lot of training involved. I was never the type who liked school. In high school I did as little reading as I could to still get decent grades. In college I had to do so much reading, I never read for fun. To me, books were work and I hadn’t developed an interest in recreational reading until I moved to the land of no streaming internet, no television, and precious few movies. (Things have changed now of course).

Because I didn’t like all this training and reading to become a missionary, I became very selective about what material I would engage with on the topic of moving overseas. So when I finally moved overseas I started realizing that the experiential things I was learning, had not been mentioned before in any of my training. I wondered if this was all part of it? Had I been tricked? Were these things some sort of odd initiation ritual? Or were there simply some things you just aren’t supposed to say out loud?

Don't call me missionary

$2.99 on Kindle

My book says those things out loud. Which is why I suspected people would not like it, especially missionaries. I mean no offense to the wonderful men and women working in missions work today, but I never wrote the book for you. Several of you already know what it’s like to risk your life to use the toilet, or to pick bugs out of your rice. I wrote this for the people like me, who hate reading, hate training, and even when they are forced to train, don’t believe nor like what they’re told anyway, because they suspect the real story is being hidden.

My audience is someone who wants to know the reality of missions work, without the work of having to go overseas to find it out. I sort of expected that attitude to offend people. But to my surprise, people have actually enjoyed the book. Before publishing I had to ask myself, “Is this really something you want to release into the world, Chad?” After praying over it, I came to the conclusion that it was. I have been very happy to discover the lives it has already touched. The testimonials that have been shared with me have been wonderful. This book seems to be striking a chord with a much larger audience than I ever anticipated.

I have been sincerely delighted and surprised at the positive comments people have shared with me, and I hope that many others can find it a useful addition to their book list.

I’d like to thank Bev for giving me a chance to share some of my thoughts on the process and for hosting me on her blog!

-Chad Owens
http://dontcallmemissionary.weebly.com

You’re welcome, Chad. I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s def on my TBR now! Let me know what you think, readers!

Bev out.

Top 5 Reasons to Live Abroad – Guest Post

As you may already know, Gary and I lived in England for three years thanks to the US Air Force, so when I was approached by Alex to host him on the topic of living abroad, I was intrigued. If you’ve ever thought of doing just that, today I’m pleased to host Alex Park, who is backpacking in Thailand right now, with his thoughts on living in a foreign country and how it can be a life enhancing experience.

Top 5 Reasons to Live Abroad at Least Once in Your Life

The world beyond our borders is home to millions of other people. Just like you, they all have their own reasons for choosing to live in their respective areas. There are very many reasons people dream of relocating to a foreign land. This can either be due to work, volunteer, study, pursue other opportunities or retire. Moving into a new country can be a rich and rewarding experience. This can either be permanently or temporarily.

Furthermore, it can be really hard particularly if you move into a country based on a dream without considering the responsibilities and risks. The step to leave familiar surroundings and adapt to another social and cultural environment should not be taken lightly. This decision requires a thorough research, knowledge and good planning. The better you are prepared before leaving your country for a foreign environment, the better your experience abroad will turn out to be.

284484_361073073967978_518768910_nHere are my five reasons why everyone should find the energy to pack up and move abroad:

  1. You become adaptable and open-minded

When you move to a foreign country everything basically becomes mixed up. From road rules, choices to choose from in the daily activities, to people’s attitudes and common behaviors. Due to these facts, you definitely have to stay positive and continue to learn new things. This is like going to school again, social etiquettes, healthcare system, the education system, the country’s history, cultural beliefs and traditions.

The moment that you know you are not afraid of change is when you learn to embrace it.

The moment that you know you are not afraid of change is when you learn to embrace it. You will thrive on change. Stagnancy and complacency becomes your worst enemy. One of the best way to improve yourself is to do the things that you are most scared of.

It is not as difficult as it sounds. No matter how difficult it sounds you will become your own cheerleader.

  1. You know yourself better

One of the best relationships in this life is the relationship you have with yourself. Nothing brings you closer to building an intimate relationship with yourself and getting to know yourself better when you move from your normal environment to a new country. This gives you the freedom to discover who you are, what you want and what you really don’t want without the influence of your family or friends. This makes you your own boss.

Staying abroad is a huge eye opener especially if the place is far removed from where you originally came from. This gives you the ability to observe things from an outsider’s perspective. This makes you to rethink the way you know and understand your culture and your own self from inside.

IMG_0037This whole process helps you as a person to start questioning your original values and beliefs, attitudes, and the values that were influenced by your upbringing. With different perspectives coming back and forth you are able to shape yourself into a strong, independent character which helps you to find your purpose in life.

  1. Career enhancing

One of the most important advantages of living abroad career wise is that it enhances or gives you a competitive edge in a tough job market. This enables clients or employees to gauge you due to the fact that you have different perspectives on things. The employers/clients feel that with an individual’s hands-on understanding of cultural and business nuances you are better prepared to localize their products for the homelands job markets.

In case it is not possible to work abroad due to visa restrictions or family issues during your stay abroad, this is the ideal time to get new qualifications that may go a long way in improving your credentials.

In addition to this, living abroad greatly improves your negotiation skills. You will learn how to establish a good rapport with people from different nationalities and improve your language skills. Showing that you have successfully lived abroad gives your resume the edge it needs in a very serious competitive job market.

Moreover, a lot of hiring in the modern world comes from referrals. When you establish yourself in a new country, you are forced to pick up a skill set which is the ability to build a connection and an ability to break into a circle of tight connections and fit in.

  1. Culturally immersive

iStock_000017545021SmallMoving abroad gives you a great chance to observe a country in its own raw environment. This gives you the ability to know new techniques of doing things and understanding. You will also immerse yourself in the local language. This not only improves your grasp of the native language but also your communication skills. By immersing yourself with the local way of living, you can comprehend how and why these customs came to be. Adopting them further makes you feel home away from home.

You will have the time to visit more areas that you would not have covered in the few days as a tourist compared to you being like one of the locals.

Living abroad gives you the chance to travel slowly so you learn about the country, just like the locals. You have the time to visit more areas that you would not have covered in the few days as a tourist compared to you being like one of the locals. One of my favorite activities in Thailand was learning to kayak. It helped me experience the surrounding island and just appreciate the beautiful landscape in front of me.

  1. New friends and building a new identity

Barley MowThe distance created by moving away from home makes it hard for you to interact with your friends and family. In some instances, you may be tired of your friends. Moving abroad opens the avenue for you to meet different people. This is always an exciting time for most people. New friends will become your family so you should choose them wisely.

Moreover, there is no better way to start fresh than moving to a new state. You become a new brand. People don’t know who you are or where you come from. No one basically cares about your background. This gives you the space to put your travel backpack to use and do what you want and be who you want to be. This inspires you to explore and create new things without outside influence from family and friends. A new job, a new house, a new car and new neighbors are all that you need. You don’t have to change yourself to please your parents or friends.

References

Pascoe, R. (2009). A broad abroad : the expat wife’s guide to successful living abroad. Vancouver, BC: Expatriate Press.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ginny-copestake/heres-why-you-should-live_b_8682674.html

Massey, B. (2006). Where in the world do I belong. Place of publication not identified: Jetlag Press.

Find Alex at  www.authorizedboots.com

 

 

Saddle up for adventure and discover some good books

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Armchair adventure anyone?

What you, the followers of this blog have told me, is that you really love two things: finding out about new books, and hearing from the authors, so have I got a treat for you today! This one is jam packed with both of those, and more!

If you’re anything like me, summertime beckons a good old-fashioned adventure. But when you just can’t get out there yourself, there’s always a way to live through others, right?

Or course I’m talking about reading a well-told adventure book, and boy have I got three gems for you! They’re all a bit different: one’s on horseback, two are on foot, but all three tackle iconic trails most of us would never have the opportunity to experience except through reading about them. Stay tuned to the end because there are some additional books you won’t want to miss finding out about from my guest author, Jackie Parry.

A penniless adventure

The first, Free Country, A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain, is by George Mahmood. George and his buddy set off only in their underpants (the British Union Jack pattern makes an eye-catching cover, y’all) to prove that A) Brits have a dry, hilarious and often unexpected sense of humor, and B) their fellow countrymen can be willing to go along with even the most off-beat requests, such as offering up a spare pair of trousers, a bicycle and/or some hot pub grub. “Tricycle with that cup of tea, fella?” Yes, this is NOT a hike I’d recommend to just everyone, especially with the bare, and I do mean bare…minimum. But George and Ben, who set out to cycle the “End to End”, from England’s Land’s End to John O’Groats in Scotland, accomplished it. So toss off your clothes and join the fellas, and I promise you won’t regret reading along.

Barley Mow

A typical pub where George and Ben might have washed dishes in exchange for a meal. (They would have been wearing pants by now.)

Next is Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail, by Ben Montgomery.

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I stumbled on, see what I did there… this gem that wasn’t written by Emma Gatewood herself, but compiled by Ben Montgomery in a page-turning recount of the first woman who walked the Appalachian Trail alone. He read her cryptic journal, postcards and letters and newspaper articles, and interviewed her children and grandchildren. He weaves in her early years, and wow, now I know why she sought solitude in the woods. Yikes.

Emma packed less than $200, a blanket, some bouillon cubes and a few other items. One day, Grandma Gatewood, as she was called by the media, got up one day, told her 11 kids she was “going for a walk,” and disappeared into the woods. She was eventually tracked down by some journalists who got wind of her…yeah…so she began sending postcards home to a not-so-surprised family because as you can surmise, they already knew she was built of some strong stuff. Well, you’ll have to read the rest for yourself. Like the part where she wears tennis shoes instead of hiking boots and sleeps on piles of leaves instead of sleeping bags. (“too heavy” she said) OMG. Just read this.

DW Garden path

Only a few miles was this well-groomed when Emma walked the ACT. An article she’d read made it sound like this was what she could expect. Not. That’s why they say she saved the ACT. Her journey led to a huge overhaul for which we can all thank her.

In case you missed it, Bill Bryson’s iconic, A Walk in the Woods is a hilarious and honest account of his time on the ACT. Now a movie starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte, we have many ways to armchair experience this hike on steroids.

And the final one, and most HIGHLY RECOMMENDED book of this trifecta is:

A Standard Journey, 5 Horses, 2 People and 1 Tent, by Jackie Parry, who along with husband Noel, adopted, trained and conditioned five former race horses to ride the Australian Bicentennial Trail.

ASJ cover

A Standard Journey is more than a story of a couple adopting horses and deciding to tackle the Australian bush, it shows how we continue to discover new strengths in each other through the most dire circumstances.

Strength, determination. Yep, it’s all there. I’m the MOST excited about this one because, as you know, I grew up riding, and would have given my first bridle to go on this trip with Jackie and her husband Noel. I was so fascinated when I finished that I immediately contacted Jackie and asked her if she could stop by and visit with us, as she’s quite busy and already off on another madcap adventure, of which I’ll let her tell you about in a bit. This isn’t her first book and she promises me it is NOT her last, because she is not only out there killing it, guys, she’s a terrific writer.

Everyone, I’d like you to meet Jackie! (from here, Bev’s comments in red) 

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Jackie Parry, tacked, packed and mounted up, ready for Australia’s Bicentennial National Trail. “Be an encourager, there are far too many critics in the world already.” JP

What’s your latest news, and how has the book been received?

It’s all happening at once. I released A Standard Journey in June, and I’m thrilled to be sharing it with readers worldwide.

I donate 50% of my profits from this book to horse/animal charities, but more importantly large charity organisations around the world are buying up my book (at a reduced rate) in order to sell at fund-raisers.

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All “the boys” as Jackie calls them, were former Standard Bred race horses, which had to be retrained for packing and trail riding.

Win-win! Who will enjoy this book?

This story will resonate with anyone who enjoys reading about ordinary people achieving truly extraordinary things, it’s also for adventurers (whether armchair or not!), and animal lovers too.

There’s plenty of humour and humbleness in there too, I’ve written it with searing honesty, and pull no punches when it comes to talking about the mistakes we made.

Hey, I resemble that armchair adventure remark! What are some favourite lines?

“We won’t even have a sink!’ I said, clutching the metal sides of our kitchen basin lovingly.”

‘That’s okay, we’ll use a billabong.’ My bearded bush-husband said.

and

“Are you kidding?’ said Noel. ‘You want me to take on a horse called Psycho Stevie?”

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L-R: Spirit, Dom, Stevie, Charlie and Ned. (and Noel astride…Stevie the Pyscho?)

“I waded in, knowing I was in danger, if Dom panicked I’d end up under him. But that didn’t stop me. I grabbed his head and tugged his nose out of the water so he didn’t drown.”

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That’s trust. Or exhaustion. Both?

“My scared boy was no longer a coward, he was leader.”

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The boys ready for the trail.

How long did it take you to write ASJ?

I took many notes during the journey – horrid, scribbled, shaky notes. I managed to decipher these, and I suppose all up it took about a year to put together into a coherent story. I wanted to craft the story just right – as perfect as I could get it. Horses are a great passion of mine, the boys in the story won my heart, and this story is incredibly important to me.

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The boys had frequent vet checks and the best of care along the way, as you can tell by how sleek they were.

How would you describe your writing style?

Honesty is my first thought. I don’t think about it too much, how I write is who I am, ie how I sound every day. There’s no pretense. I like to show the good and the bad, and reveal who I am – warts and all! I think we all have our own demons and mine are readily revealed! I find the line between sanity and insanity is a fine one. Not everyone will admit that.

Tell  us what else you’ve written and what’s in the future.

Of Foreign Build – From Corporate Girl to Sea-Gypsy Woman was launched at the end of last year and I am incredibly proud of how well it is doing and the wonderful reviews. My story has won the 5* Readers’ Favourite Award and many excellent write ups in 5star-shiny-webinternational magazines. This is the story of losing one man and falling for another, while trying to figure out who I am, and sailing around the world.

Cruisers’ AA (Accumulated Acumen) was the first book I published(with my husband Noel). It is for anyone who wants to set sail – runaway – live on a boat; or, indeed, if you are already cruising and want to learn more. It covers every aspect of living on a boat, from health, to beauty, to maintenance, to pirates, to navigation…..

Next: The title is still to be determined: After we sailed around the world on our thirty-three foot boat, and before the horse-trail riding, Noel and I purchased a sailboat in America. We wanted to experience the bejewelled Pacific Ocean again. This time we sailed further south to Easter Island, Pitcairn, The Gambiers, etc. It should have been an easier trip in a bigger boat, and with many miles experience under our belts. Instead the oceans were a struggle, and tested our fortitude. I had one of my most terrifying nights on that trip and many struggles to overcome.

Here’s Jackie in front of a canal boat she and Noel recently refurbished. OK, now we want to read about THAT.

What’s great about being an author?

Connecting with like-minded people; the readers who have made contact, are amazing. My first memoir, Of Foreign Build has inspired so many people to write to me with beautiful letters about their lives and experiences. My story has helped many people too, and it’s wonderful to hear about it.

Of Foreign Build is a deeply personal story about life in general and how to survive it, and steer the path you want – that resonates with a lot of people. I love hearing from readers.

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing at school. Yes, we had to, but I loved it! During my ‘office-based-career’, I helped put together the corporate magazine. When Noel and I were sailing I wrote thousands of articles for magazines and naturally progressed into books. Being an ordinary woman who’s living an extraordinary life inspired me. Plus, I just can’t seem to stop writing.
What books have most influenced your life most?

A Fortunate Life by Albert Facey and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, not just because of their titles. (Note the similarities to mine!) I study books as I read them. These two books influenced my writing career. I learned from these authors, writing does not need to be flowery and tricky – it needs to be concise and clever.

What book are you reading now?

A Capable and Wide Revenge by Glen Barrera; it is leaving me short of breath, so much happens. Not only is it a thrilling read it is smart writing too. He has characters you are happy to invest in, scenes which are as vivid as if they are playing out in front of you.

Are there any new authors that have your interest?

Yes, lots!

Mark Fine, author of The Zebra Affaire, an incredible story of a thrilling fusion of suspense and romance in exotic, yet brutal apartheid South Africa.

Rachel Amphlett, she’s on her fourth or fifth book now, I recently read her latest Mistake Creek, it kept me up all night, completely breathless!

Val Poore has written Harbour Ways and African Ways amongst others, I have read one of her books and can’t wait to read more.

Rochelle Carlton caught my eye with a beautiful romantic story set in New Zealand. Romance isn’t my usual choice, but this book is so beautifully written I couldn’t put it down.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep at it. It isn’t easy, but it is worth it. It is a marathon not a sprint and the entire process will take longer than you think. Try to write every day, if you can’t then read, learn, research (that part never ends!). Remember too, once you have published your book, you then have to learn to become a marketing professional! People won’t buy your book unless they know about it.
Anything else to share with you readers before you have to go?  

Thanks for all your support, it is amazing and so appreciated. Please do write (contact information is below) and tell me what you think. Can I help you? Let me know, I am happy to discuss marketing, writing, life!

Also, take a look at the links there to photo albums of our travels on the horses and on board our boats. Plus all the goodies from Cruisers’ AA on navigation etc.

Jackie it’s been so much fun, thanks for visiting. Your projects and words of  encouragement are so inspiring. I hope you keep entertaining us and seeking new adventures. You’ve definitely inspired me, and expanded my TBR list, that’s for sure! I hope you’ll visit again when the next book is published.

Bev out!

Jackie’s bio:

Addicted to travel, adventure and writing, Jackie doesn’t sit still for very long. Originally from the UK she is now an ‘adopted’ Australian. She’s sailed around the world one and a half times and trekked in the bush with five rescued horses for several months. She has also trained to become a professional maritime captain and teacher. Currently she is exploring the European canals on a 1920s Dutch barge with her Australian husband, Noel. She’s written about her sailing and horse trekking escapades, and there is still more to come. Jackie donates 50% of proceeds from her horse trekking book A Standard Journey5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent, to help rescue more horses.

Contact information to Jackie Parry links to her books and blog.

Author blog: www.jackieparry.com

Travel blog: www.noelandjackiesjourneys.com

Horse Charity/Donations: http://helpinghandforhorses.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.parry.7543

Travels: https://www.facebook.com/NoelAndJackiesJourneys

Horses: https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-the-love-of-horses/1048526295173146

Amazon book links

A StandardJourney: http://geni.us/1j9w

Of Foreign Build: http://geni.us/ipq

Cruisers’ AA (accumulated acumen) – http://geni.us/3sKJ

Twitter

https://twitter.com/NandJJourneys

https://twitter.com/StandardJourney

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7157763.Jackie_Sarah_Parry?from_search=true

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jackieparry7543

Full photo album of A Standard Journey: http://goo.gl/1QgMp2

Full photo album of Of Foreign Build: http://jackieparry.com/of-foreign-build-photo-album/

Full photo album of Cruisers’AA: http://jackieparry.com/pics/

The Union of the North and the South – guest author, Ann Mock

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Today I’m pleased to welcome fellow Reader’s Favorite author, Ann Mock, who has penned a charming story set in post-Civil War days. I hope you enjoy meeting her, and reading an excerpt from this book that’s receiving well-deserved praise.

Now in audible!

The Union of the North and the South, by Ann Mock, now available from audible.com

Filled with romance and rich setting details, this Reader’s Favorite Five Star reviewed novel, The Union of the North and the South, takes place in the south in the 1870s during the tumultuous years following the War Between the States. Meet Laura Malcolm, forced to draw upon the strength5star-shiny-web and resilience symbolized by the oak trees surrounding her ancestral home nestled against the Mississippi. Overcoming great personal tragedy, she must keep a secret that, if revealed, will cause great heartache. Will Laura’s enemies become her friends even as she confronts her own past? Will she find the strength to forgive and love again?


 

IMG_4133Author Ann Mock lives in Florida with her husband Dave and her faithful companion, Happy. She enjoys ballroom dancing, and cruising on oceans and rivers in both Europe and the United States. Some of her favorite trips were on Mississippi steamboats that visited many of the areas mentioned in this book.


An excerpt from The Union of the North and the South

One day Laura told her mother, “I’m going to talk to Pastor Jenkins. I won’t be long.” She mounted a horse and waved at Jenny, who was in the corral training Scamp. Laura rode through a shaded lane toward the chapel. The day was cool and pleasant during her short ride. Along the way she thought about what was troubling her and how the pastor might help her. When she arrived, she knocked on the door of the chapel. Pastor Jenkins stood aside and motioned her inside. She followed him into his small office and sat in a chair opposite him. His jovial smile helped her relax as she quickly came to the point of her visit.

“I know you know so much about me and can appreciate how hard it has been since Gerald’s death. I want to be able to forgive his family for all they’ve done to me, but I find it so hard to do so. For a long time, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t thought about my anger and hurt. Now that I’m back at Oak Grove, I’ve had a lot of time to think, which seems to only make matters worse.”

Pastor Jenkins paused before saying, “To be able to forgive doesn’t come easy to any of us, especially when we’ve been wronged as you have. Let me share one of my favorite biblical passages on forgiveness.” He then read from Colossians 3:13: “‘Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’”

The pastor advised, “You must change your heart, Laura. When you let go of anger and bitterness, it will free you. Forgiveness takes time. The process is very slow, but the reward will be a freedom that can come only from the Lord.”

A small ray of light came though the window of Pastor Jenkins’s office, as if to show God’s endorsement of the pastor’s wisdom. Laura looked pleased. She knew now what she must do. It would take time and would be hard, but she wanted to be free—free from her anger over all her losses, including those regarding Bradford.

Before Laura reached the corner of the churchyard, Pastor Jenkins called her name. After she walked back to the church, he asked, “If you have some extra time on your hands, would you be interested in helping some of the adults in the community learn to read? The teacher we have is presently sick with pneumonia. Reading opens a whole world to people, and I think this would help keep your mind busy. Helping others is rewarding and often helps the giver as much as the person receiving the help.”

Laura paused. Then her face lit up. “That’s something I can do to help. How many will be coming to the class?”

“Right now we just have a few. Lily is coming from Oak Grove regularly and has made good progress. We’re hoping more will join them.”

Laura thanked Pastor Jenkins as she walked toward her horse. She already felt her burden lighten as she thought about what she needed to accomplish. Each day she would pray that she could learn to forgive. By doing so she would be obeying the wishes of the Lord and, hopefully, would find the true happiness Bradford’s mother had written about in her Bible.

The next evening Laura walked to the church with Lily to meet the adults attending the reading class. Laura found it was great fun to teach such eager students.

When the regular teacher recovered from her pneumonia, Laura became her assistant. Once, when she was leaving to go to the class, Bradford asked her, “Where are you going?”

Laura’s eyes lit up as she explained, “I’m teaching a class of adults how to read. It’s so rewarding. They’re learning quickly. I hope it’s okay that I’m using some of your books from the library. I haven’t seen you, or I would have asked earlier.”

Bradford hadn’t realized she was doing this, since he had been trying to avoid her in order to keep his promise not to bother her anymore. “I’m so glad you found something so fulfilling to do with your time. I have no problem with your using the books. I’m very proud of you!”

Laura was pleased with his praise and smiled brightly at him. It was becoming easier and easier to forgive him after all he had done to help her and her family. Now she just needed to learn to forgive Gerald’s parents, and her prayers would be answered.


If you enjoy Ann’s, or any author’s books, please consider leaving a kind review at your favorite book selling site so that others will know. Reviews are the new word-of-mouth recommendation, and encourage us to keep banging away writing more stories for your enjoyment.

Thanks for stopping by!

Bev Out.

Today’s Guest, Nigeria Lockley with an exciting book announcement and giveaway

BORN AT DAWN, BOOK BLAST AND BOOK GIVEAWAY. 2 autographed copies of Born at Dawn will be given away!

 

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Book Title: Born at Dawn

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Author: Nigeria Lockley

Urban Books (September 30, 2014)

ISBN-13: 978-1601626752

Publication Date: September 30, 2014

About The Book

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Thirty-four year old Cynthia Barclay knows that marriage is supposed to be for better or for worse. Unfortunately, for the last ten years of her marriage Cynthia has experienced the worst that marriage has to offer at the hands of her abusive husband Marvin Barclay. With the hope of saving herself and her family she turns to the Lord. Expecting to see God manifest himself greatly in her life sooner than later Cynthia is not content just waiting. She wants out.

Abandoning her hope, her husband, and her two young sons Cynthia boards a bus from New York City to Richmond, Virginia. She begins a new life armed with six thousand dollars on a prepaid credit card, a sketchy plan for success, and a promise to return for her sons. That is until she meets Cheo, a photojournalist with enough connections to take her where she wants to be and forget where she came from.

After six years in Richmond Cynthia’s dark past resurfaces. At the risk of losing it all—her past and her present Cynthia returns home to right her wrongs. Has Cynthia chosen the right time to return home or is it too late for God to restore everything she has broken?

About The Author

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Nigeria Lockley possesses two Master’s degrees, one in English Secondary Education, which she utilizes as an educator with the New York City Department of Education. Her second Master’s degree is in Creative Writing. Born at Dawn is Nigeria’s first published novel. Nigeria serves as the Vice President of Bridges Family Services, a not-for-profit organization that assists student parents interested in pursuing a degree in higher education. She is also the deaconess and clerk for her spiritual home King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Church of God. Nigeria is a New York native who resides in Harlem with her husband and two daughters.

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Book announcement – On Higher Ground

ImageAuthor Paula Hrbacek is pleased to announce the release of her new Christian romance novel, “On Higher Ground”, a sweet romance about finding the courage to change.
The story features three humans and two angels.  The angels have been assigned to help the humans find God’s will for their lives.  They offer inspiration, good luck, divine intervention, and at times, appear in human form.
     “One review of the book didn’t like the angels,” comments the author.  “She said that everything I had to say about a “still small voice” should have been attributed to the Holy Spirit, instead.  She’s right.  It could have been the Holy Spirit, but I had to use angels in order to create a dialogue.  Characters speak when they don’t understand or don’t know something.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t need to explain anything to the rest of the Trinity, because they already agree with each other.  So, instead, I made one angel an apprentice, and one a supervisor, so that they would have something to talk about.”
     At the end of each chapter, the angels discuss why God has answered one prayer with a no, and another with a yes.  The angels take a look at why bad things happen to nice people.  It also discusses why good things happen to not so nice people and why bad things happen to bad people.
The main character is a young adult woman, Melanie Worlds, who has run out of luck; no job, no friends, no future.  Desperately wanting to replace the middleclass life she once knew up on “the Hill”, her faith is being tested to the limits.  JT, her newest friend, is up to something, but Melanie isn’t sure what it is.  And then Brad, her high school crush, comes back to town.  She can’t let him know how bad it is, or he’ll lose all respect for her.  And, to make matters worse, someone is trying to break into her apartment.
     None of her prayers are getting answered, and she feels all alone.  But she’s not.  Two guardian angels have been assigned to help these three humans.  The angels know God’s plan, and it’s going to take everything they’ve got to pull it off.  To battle temptation, the angels will need to instill courage; courage to dare, courage to dream, and most of all, courage to love one another.
     “On Higher Ground” has been getting four and five star reviews on Amazon.  People who have read the manuscript have this to say.
“A stunning story of angels, wonder and redemption. Prepare to be amazed.”  Duffy Brown, author of “Iced Chiffon” and “Killer in Crinolines”
“This is a novel with a lot of heart and soul.  But it’s also a very grounded one, thanks to the vivid, sometimes gritty details that Paula Hrbacek weaves into the narrative.  So many spiritual novels aren’t, and the characters end up being mouthpieces for the author’s beliefs. That doesn’t happen with “On Higher Ground”. Hrbacek gets her message across without ever losing sight of the story itself or making her characters into cardboard cut-outs. The main characters — Melanie, J. T., and Brad — are fully fleshed out.  We see them — faulty lines, good intentions, and all — and we care about what happens to them.”          — T. J. Banks, author of “Sketch People:  Stories Along the Way”.
“This was a very well written book that I couldn’t put down. It was written in such a different way by having the story of people down here on earth and the angels in heaven discussing the people on earth. What a great concept.  The entire book was enjoyable from start to finish and I highly recommend it.”  Barbara Kuebler Renczkowski
     Paula Hrbacek is the author of “Stars Shine After Dark” and four non-fiction craft books.  She won first place in an international writing contest sponsored by Echoes of The Right to God in 2011.  She majored in journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and writes two newspaper columns for The Examiner, an online newspaper.
“On Higher Ground” is available in paperback, Kindle and Nook from Amazon and B&N.
Kindle version:  $2.99
Paperback:    $14.95
Stars Shine After Dark, a sweet Christian romance, available in paperback, Kindle and Nook.
Day Camp in Hawaii, a complete program guide for summer camp or summer school, available in paperback, Nook and Kindle.  For more information see http://paulahrbacek.weebly.com or my author page at https://www.amazon.com/author/paulahrbacek
Please subscribe to The Examiner, a free online newspaper, and get email updates on my columns; Children’s Arts and Crafts, and Book Reviews.

 

Horse stories for a good cause? Yes, please!

Today I’m thrilled to host my friend and fellow author, Candace Carrabus, and tell you about how buying her books will help a nonprofit animal rescue facility.

Candace I met through a mutual horse-loving friend-hi Pam! and were amazed at how many things we have in common. Both Candace and I trained in the British Horse Society certificate program-different stables, different times, and we’ve both lived on Long Island, and of course we share a love for writing, and horses. (Oh, and we even drive the same kind of car!) All my books end up having horses in them, and so do Candace’s. And we both care about helping out animals in need. More about that in a moment.

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Click through to see The Raver trailer (you will be taken to Youtube.

Here she is to explain how she writes, why horses are so compelling to us all, and what you will find in her great books.

Hi Candace!

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Candace and Remi

Hi, Bev, thanks for having me!

What is it about horses? From the avid rider to the long-distance admirer, everyone agrees their beauty, power, and grace stirs deep emotions.

Author Jane Smiley said, “I discovered that the horse is life itself, a metaphor but also an example of life’s mystery and unpredictability, of life’s generosity and beauty, a worthy object of repeated and ever changing contemplation.”

Ah, that explains it! And in literary terms no less. All I know is I love them and can’t live without them. They have made me who I am, and who I am is way better than who I would have been if horses hadn’t helped raise me and continue to mentor me. I’m a lifelong horsewoman and author. I haven’t been writing as long as I’ve loved horses—mainly because I couldn’t connect pencil to paper soon enough—but I’m not sure I can live without that, either. Now, come ride with me, which is where I do a lot of my story development.

horses grazing

W.C. Fields famously said, “Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.”

Images, characters, and snippets of conversation flow naturally during long trail rides. On the undulating back of a horse you can be anyone, you can go anywhere, you can fly. Imagination awakens, stretches, and flexes its muscles. When I started pulling ideas out of my head and writing them down—at around age 12—horses were as inextricably entwined in my stories as they are with my heart. Writing romantic adventures centered around horses is still rewarding. The seed that grew into Raver began in a dream of a trail ride on my old thoroughbred, Smirnoff. Raver tells the story of Lauren Gallagher, a woman who longs to simply be left alone with her horses.

When a strange man arrives at the stable seeking a particular rider, Lauren and her mount, Pindar, find themselves transported through the Ravery to Cirq, a dying land bereft of its beloved steeds. In Cirq, Lauren is proclaimed the long-awaited Horsecaller and she’s expected to find the lost horses and return Cirq to greatness. No pressure.

buy a book, save a horse

Click here to go to the fundraiser FB page

So it is with great joy that I am able to further connect my two passions with the Buy a Book—Help a Horse fundraiser for Amaryllis Farm Equine Rescue and Horse Sanctuary. This non-profit sanctuary’s owner, Christine Barrett-Distefano, works tirelessly on behalf of horses, mules, and ponies as well as some chickens, ducks, goats—you name it—who are no longer wanted by their owners. Owners who often promised to love them forever. Circumstances change, children grow up, horses get old and lame and are too often discarded as easily as yesterday’s newspaper.

Amaryllis rescue farm

Some of Amaryllis’ success stories.

Sometimes, people like Christine are all that stand between a once beloved horse and the misery of neglect and even slaughter. All too often this is also the fate of successful racehorses.

How you can help.

When you buy one—or all three!—of my books between August 25th and September 8th, I will donate all my author royalties to Amaryllis Farm. You can get them in print from Amazon or Barnes & Noble and for Kindle, Nook, or Kobo.

And, as if that weren’t good enough, you can also enter a contest on Facebook for giveaways such as

• A $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card

• A fabulous hand-crafted horse hoof necklace

• Gumy ear buds

• Horsehair bracelet

• Tablet pillow sleeve

• Pony Pizza Company’s pizza-shaped horse treats www.facebook.com/promotion… Winners will be announced September 9th. The horses thank you! See ya on the trails!

Links & Credits

www.amaryllisfarm.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCandaceCarrabus

www.candacecarrabus.com

Buy a Book—Help a Horse photo by Streetsidephoto@gmail.com

Horses Grazing photo by Cynthia Roysden Photography

Next time we’ll tell you about Candace’s next title, On the Buckle, another horse story. The world can never have too many of those, right? And to help out an author, if you enjoy our books, please leave a fair and kind review on any site like Amazon, Goodreads or Barnes and Noble, they really do help spread the word.

Bev out!

 

A Farm Fresh Romance – fun new series breaks ground

Since we’re all about fresh starts here, when I saw this unique series, I knew I had to invite the author, Valerie Comer, and find out more.

Raspberries and Vinegar V-cover

FARM FRESH ROMANCE  – This unique farm lit series follows the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of three college graduates who move onto a reclaimed farm where they plan to take the rural area by storm with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods. 

The debut title:

RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR

Breaking ground with the Farm Fresh Romance series, RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR finds Josephine Shaw and her friends renovating a dilapidated farm with their sights set on more than just their own property. Transforming the town with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods is met with more resistance than they expected, especially by temporary neighbor, Zachary Nemesek. Jo needs to learn that a little sweet makes the tart more tasty.

 

Putting the “Fresh” in Fresh Start

Have you noticed—or maybe been a part of—the resurging interest in fresh food? Buying from farmers’ markets or direct from the farm is a growing trend. The number of North Americans planting a vegetable garden and cooking with fresh herbs is growing. Real food. Local food. Organic food. Seasonal food. Fresh food. All these are buzzwords in today’s foodie culture. The popularity of fast food chains and prepackaged mixes seems to be waning as we rediscover our taste buds—as well as our health and our consciences! Back in the 1970s there was a “back to the land movement,” strolling along hand-in-hand with hippies and peace freaks. Disenchanted folks flocked to log cabins in the hills and tried their hand at pottery. They made a fresh start, all right, but lots of them gave it up and returned to urban corporate life.

Making a living off the land isn’t that easy. It wasn’t then, and it isn’t now. Don’t tell that to the characters in my new novel, Raspberries and Vinegar. Josephine Shaw and her two best friends are renovating a dilapidated farm with their sights set on more than just their own property. Transforming the town with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods is met with more resistance than they expected, especially by temporary neighbor, Zachary Nemesek. Jo needs to learn that a little sweet makes the tart more tasty. Jo, Claire, and Sierra are determined, though. Even a trailer full of mice isn’t enough to deter them, though it comes close.

Raspberries and Vinegar is the first in my new Farm Fresh Romance series, called Farm Lit with sweet simplicity and a bit of zing. Sound interesting? You’re in luck! From August 6-9, anyone who orders a paperback copy of Raspberries and Vinegar can receive the digital versions as a thank you gift. We’re also offering a bunch of other fun downloads: digital art, a podcast with interviews about the intersection of food and faith, a video of me making Raspberry Vinegar, and more.

2-book blitz graphic-4What do I know about a fresh start? God’s been preparing me for this leap into Farm Lit for years. Both my mom and my mother-in-law were country women who gardened, cooked from scratch, and preserved food for long, cold Canadian winters. Being as Jim and I didn’t have a lot of money in our early years, following the traditions we already knew was helpful in feeding healthy fare to our little family. We bought the family farm in 2000 and are actively farming, gardening, and beekeeping, plus staying involved in our local food action coalition and farmers’ market. Watching our adult kids and their spouses examine food issues has been fun to see. Our son moved his little family back to the farm, where they live across the yard from us. (Yay! I get to see my 1-year-old granddaughter every day.) Our daughter loves to cook and experiment. Her little girls love food, are learning where it comes from, and enjoy watching the piggies and chickens when they visit the farm. It’s my kids’ generation I’m writing for. Many college students and 20-30-somethings are unsatisfied with urban options, feeling disconnected from humanity’s roots. Many seek a way to get their hands in the dirt, but the price of land has skyrocketed since the 70s. It’s tough to buy a farm and, if you should be so lucky, it’s even harder to make a go of it. We work off the farm as well as on it in order to sustain our lifestyle. What kind of fresh start are you yearning for? Are you taking steps to make it a reality? Life is too short to sit back. Ask God what He wants for you then reach out and grab hold of His promises. Go get it!

Valerie-Comer-sqValerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her characters enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Valerie writes Farm Lit with the voice of experience laced with humor. Raspberries and Vinegar, first in her series A Farm Fresh Romance, released August 1, 2013. Visit her at these social sites.

  • Website: http://valeriecomer.com
  • Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valeriecomer.author
  • Twitter: http://twitter.com/valeriecomer http://twitter.com/towritestory
  • Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/valeriecomer
  • Blog: http://valeriecomer.com/blog
  • Writing Blog & Free eCourse: http://towriteastory.com
  • What is FarmLit?

A little about Choose Now publishing

Choose NOW Ministries, founded by Nicole O’Dellis dedicated to working with parents and teens to battle peer pressure, face the Hot Button issues, and commit to good choices.

Today’s choices have lasting impact on your tomorrows.

I’m grabbing my copy and a glass of iced tea, see you on the porch swing.

Bev out!

 

Get your lanyards ready, rediscovering summer camp with my guest T. Greenwood

Today I’m thrilled to host Tammy Greenwood, author of so many titles it’s hard to list them all here, but I highly recommend you check them out. Tammy’s also a writing teacher and editor, and has been helping me with my latest WIP, THE KALEIDOSCOPE, so if you’re an author, I suggest you find out more about her uber helpful editing services and classes as well. Her lengthy summaries of good and >cough< not so good parts of my submission to her are keeping me busy making changes, and I know will make the book SO much better. I’ve posted her bio, photo and links at the bottom of this post. She’s graciously allowed me to repost her list of some books I’ve already added to my list of TBR’s, let us know if you find one you’d like to read, or want to, or perhaps another you’d recommend.

Here’s Tammy!

(Originally posted on May 26th, 2013 on Tammy’s blog.)

It’s Memorial Day weekend, which even here in sunny southern California, signals the advent of summer. And so I begin compiling my list of summer reads. And what better books to complement the season than novels set at summer camps?
Here are some I can’t wait to read and re-read (blurbs are from goodreads.com):

The Last Summer of the Camperdowns“The Last Summer of the Camperdowns, from the best-selling author of Apologize, Apologize!, introduces Riddle James Camperdown, the twelve-year-old daughter of the idealistic Camp and his manicured, razor-sharp wife, Greer. It’s 1972, and Riddle’s father is running for office from the family compound in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Between Camp’s desire to toughen her up and Greer’s demand for glamour, Riddle has her hands full juggling her eccentric parents. When she accidentally witnesses a crime close to home, her confusion and fear keep her silent. As the summer unfolds, the consequences of her silence multiply. Another mysterious and powerful family, the Devlins, slowly emerges as the keepers of astonishing secrets that could shatter the Camperdowns. As an old love triangle, bitter war wounds, and the struggle for status spiral out of control, Riddle can only watch, hoping for the courage to reveal the truth. The Last Summer of the Camperdowns is poised to become the summer’s uproarious and dramatic must-read.”

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls: A Novel“It is 1930, the midst of the Great Depression. After her mysterious role in a family tragedy, passionate, strong-willed Thea Atwell, age fifteen, has been cast out of her Florida home, exiled to an equestrienne boarding school for Southern debutantes. High in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with its complex social strata ordered by money, beauty, and girls’ friendships, the Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is a far remove from the free-roaming, dreamlike childhood Thea shared with her twin brother on their family’s citrus farm—a world now partially shattered. As Thea grapples with her responsibility for the events of the past year that led her here, she finds herself enmeshed in a new order, one that will change her sense of what is possible for herself, her family, her country.

Weaving provocatively between home and school, the narrative powerfully unfurls the true story behind Thea’s expulsion from her family, but it isn’t long before the mystery of her past is rivaled by the question of how it will shape her future. Part scandalous love story, part heartbreaking family drama, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is an immersive, transporting page-turner—a vivid, propulsive novel about sex, love, family, money, class, home, and horses, all set against the ominous threat of the Depression—and the major debut of an important new writer.”

The Inverted Forest
“Late on a warm summer night in rural Missouri, an elderly camp director hears a squeal of joyous female laughter and goes to investigate. At the camp swimming pool he comes upon a bewildering scene: his counselors stripped naked and engaged in a provocative celebration. The first camp session is set to start in just two days. He fires them all. As a result, new counselors must be quickly hired and brought to the Kindermann Forest Summer Camp.

One of them is Wyatt Huddy, a genetically disfigured young man who has been living in a Salvation Army facility. Gentle and diligent, large and imposing, Wyatt suffers a deep anxiety that his intelligence might be subnormal. All his life he’s been misjudged because of his irregular features. But while Wyatt is not worldly, he is also not an innocent. He has escaped a punishing home life with a reclusive and violent older sister.

Along with the other new counselors, Wyatt arrives expecting to care for children. To their astonishment, they learn that for the first two weeks of the camping season they will be responsible for 104 severely developmentally disabled adults, all of them wards of the state. For Wyatt it is a dilemma that turns his world inside out. Physically, he is indistinguishable from the state hospital campers he cares for. Inwardly, he would like to believe he is not of their tribe. Fortunately for Wyatt, there is a young woman on staff who understands his predicament better than he might have hoped.

At once the new counselors and disabled campers begin to reveal themselves. Most are well-intentioned; others unprepared. Some harbor dangerous inclinations. Among the campers is a perplexing array of ailments and appearances and behavior both tender and disturbing. To encounter them is to be reminded just how wide the possibilities are when one is describing human beings.

Soon Wyatt is called upon to prevent a terrible tragedy. In doing so, he commits an act whose repercussions will alter his own life and the lives of the other Kindermann Forest staff members for years to come.

Written with scrupulous fidelity to the strong passions running beneath the surface of camp life, The Inverted Forest is filled with yearning, desire, lust, banked hope, and unexpected devotion. This remarkable and audacious novel amply underscores Heaven Lake’s wide acclaim and confirms John Dalton’s rising prominence as a major American novelist.”

Shelter: A Novel

“In a West Virginia forest in 1963, a group of children at summer camp enter a foreboding Eden and experience an unexpected rite of passage. Shelter is an astonishing portrayal of an American loss of innocence as witnessed by a mysterious drifter named Parson, two young sisters, Lenny and Alma, and a feral boy called Buddy. Together they come to understand bravery and the importance of compassion.
Phillips unearths a dangerous beauty in this primeval terrain and in the hearts of her characters. Lies, secrets, erotic initiations, and the bonds of love between friends, families, and generations are transformed in a leafy wilderness undiminished by societal rules and dilemmas. Cast in Phillips’ stunning prose, with an unpredictable cast of characters and a shadowy, suspenseful narrative, Shelter is a an enduring achievement from one of the finest writers of our time.”
The Interestings“The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’s now-married best friends, become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken.Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.”Camp“Every secret has a price.For most girls, sleepaway camp is great fun. But for Amy Becker, it’s a nightmare. Amy, whose home life is in turmoil, is sent to Camp Takawanda for Girls for the first time as a teenager. Although Amy swears she hates her German-immigrant mother, who is unduly harsh with Amy’s autistic younger brother, Amy is less than thrilled about going to camp. At Takawanda she is subjected to a humiliating “initiation” and relentless bullying by the ringleader of the senior campers. As she struggles to stop the mean girls from tormenting her, Amy becomes more confident. Then a cousin reveals dark secrets about Amy’s mother’s past, which sets in motion a tragic event that changes Amy and her family forever. Camp is a compelling coming-of-age novel about bullying, mothers and daughters, and the collateral damage of family secrets. It will resonate with a wide teenage readership. Camp will be a strong addition to school recommended reading and summer reading lists, and it is appropriate for anti-bullying programs. Mostly, though, Camp is a mother-daughter story for mothers and daughters to share.”
T Greenwood
About my guest:
T. Greenwood is the author of seven novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and, most recently, the Maryland State Arts Council. TWO RIVERS was named Best General Fiction Book at the San Diego Book Awards in 2009. Five of her novels have been BookSense76/IndieBound picks; THIS GLITTERING WORLD was a January 2011 selection, and GRACE is an April 2012 selection. Her eighth novel, BODIES OF WATER, will be released this fall.

She teaches creative writing at for San Diego Writer’s, Ink. She and her husband, Patrick, live in San Diego, CA with their two daughters. She is also an aspiring photographer.

More information on T. Greenwood can be found at her website: http://www.tgreenwood.com and her blogs: http://www.mermama.blogspot.com andhttp://www.ephemerafiles.blogspot.com