New story for The Seasons of Cherryvale fans

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A short story. .99 on e-reader

At the conclusion of “Christmas Bells” Mark surprises Grace with a trip to Hawaii. I’d been wondering how to write a fun story for Grace to experience the island, and for the island to experience Grace!

While I was thinking about Aloha Grace and what she’d do while on Oahu, the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor was on the news and I had my story. As those of you who’ve read my other books know, I like to add a little something that’s an extra touch, like in Fresh Start Summer, the information about the Oscar award ceremony for “Gone with the Wind” that adds fun details.

I hope you enjoy Aloha Grace as much as I enjoyed writing it. Escape to the tropical paradise of Hawaii with Grace and find out how she helps a new ohana, as welll as a young woman who must make a life changing decision.

 

Sharing Jesus with Muslims in America

Sharing Jesus with Muslims

 

As God is in the business of answering prayer, it was no coincidence that the request for a review landed in my inbox recently. In a sec, you’ll understand where I’m going with this.

I’m nearing the end of my latest manuscript, and while I won’t spend time on it here cuz I don’t want you getting weary hearing about it, I’ll just say it’s going to be a doozy and it’s kicking my proverbial writer’s behind to the curb, y’all.

But I will tell you like all my books, there’s a faith theme, because when all is said and done, that’s probably the only thing that’s going to get us out of this world alive. Can I get an Amen?

So let me tell you about this book I was asked to review.

It’s a doozy, too.

While we all debate open or closed borders and who’s right and who is wrong, the real question should be, “how do we treat our Muslim neighbor?” Because if you don’t already have a Muslim friend or neighbor, you probably will soon. You don’t have to traipse across the Sahara  >cough< may or may not be a hint about my WIP, to find them.

Abu Daoud has written a stunningly well organized, well researched and cited book that walks a Christian through how to befriend and answer their Muslim friend’s questions about Jesus. It comes from experience, which is important because the Qu’ran teaches about Jesus so before we go off spouting what may be either silly or offensive, knowing how a Muslim thinks about Him will help immensely.

And this book lays it all out there.

I read it in a couple of days, and feel like I have a good foundation, and yet I also was inspired to learn more.

And I suggest you pick up a copy as well, because understanding a culture and religion we only hear about or shy away from because we’re uncomfortable won’t do anyone any good at all.

Here’s just a hint of how you will be challenged and informed in Sharing Jesus:

  • “Most Muslims in the United States have no idea what Christians actually believe. Muslims are from locations where the gospel is hardly available, and they will not come to know the gospel without the efforts of American Christians.” Kindle location 380
  • Did you know most Muslims believe all westerners are Christians, and because of that they attribute everything, and I mean all the bad stuff too, as being acceptable to Christians? Better to call ourselves “followers of Jesus” or “a follower of the way.” Kindle location 985
  • The Qu’ran quotes the Bible, but some Muslims claim the Bible has changed, and yet one can compare the two and see it hasn’t, which actually validates the Bible’s claims. Location 1083
  • Muslims do not have the same understanding of religion that most secular folks in the West do. They do not believe that religion needs to be hidden away in churches or homes.” Location 1516

Your own faith will be increased and perhaps even challenged in places, and I know your understanding of what Muslims believe will be. It’s not too academic or clunky, it flows well, and has many references so you can check their work and learn more. The author told me there is a video and study guide coming, so stay tuned for updates about that.

Grab a copy and be prepared to speak gently and with respect to every tribe and nation. (Bev’s paraphrase)

Here’s the publisher’s summary of Sharing Jesus with Muslims in America:

“The Muslim population in the United States is growing quickly, and there are no signs of this growth slowing down. So how should Christians respond? With fear? With tolerance? By ignoring Muslims? Or with boldness, hope, and the Good News of Jesus Christ, clearly the biblical answer. For centuries the church did not go to Muslims with the gospel because Christians thought it was too dangerous or too difficult. Now God is bringing Muslims to America where Christians can lead them to Christ. But when I share this opportunity with churches around the country, I’m asked, “But how? How do I meet Muslims? How can my church make the connections?” This book seeks to answer those questions and more. If you are a Christian, I hope you will open your heart to God’s plan for Muslims in your community. You can start by reading this book.”

Bev out!

 

 

 

Grace in the Flames

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Grace in the Flames (Inspy Contemporary Fiction)

 by Michelle Massaro

From Bev: Recently I read a debut novel that I had to share with y’all. You know how it is when you read the first few pages of a new-to-you-author and you’re not sure if a) the writer has any chops, and b) the story will grab your attention? Well, I have to tell you that Michelle DOES have mad writing skills and this story had my attention from the first few pages. And more than that, it was a real CPID* sleep stealer. Here’s the back cover teaser, and a sample scene, plus some Q&A with Michelle.

 And be sure and sign up for her newsletter because she’s got another one coming out soon!

Good job, Michelle!

*can’t put it down

GRACE IN THE FLAMES

Three people. One God of grace.

John Douglas thought he knew the future God had for him–raise a family and grow old with his bride, Hannah. But then a deadly house fire incinerated his faith, destroying the man he’d been.

Worship leader Jenni Dupont conquered her demons years ago and has the scars to prove it. But temptation strikes when her world is shattered, and this time she’s not sure if God can carry her through.

Bar waitress April Johanson lives with the secret trauma of an abusive past. Desperate to stay off the streets of Vegas, she’ll do whatever is necessary to pay the rent.

When their lives intersect, God will ask them to do the impossible. To love Him even if…

  • What would you say is/are the major themes explored in your book? I always say the main theme is surrender. Second to that is divine love.
  • What do you hope readers take away from this story? That our relationship with an Almighty God is not measured by how comfortable our circumstances are, but that despite the trials we face, God is real, and He loves you.
  • Do you have a favorite character? I actually love them all! Over the years, they’ve all come so alive to me and it’s hard to pick just one. I’ve come to identify with each of them in different ways. April’s story in the initial drafts was always captivating for me and I relished returning to her scenes. But as time went on, I really got close to Jenni as well. I was always drawn to John and the way he looks out for others. They’re all my favorite!
  • Sometimes authors slip in cameos of people they know in real life, or tuck other little gems into the pages of their story. Are there any fun Easter eggs hidden in your book? Yes! Two of my kids’ names are sprinkled in—Katy and Brandon—and I also slipped in mentions of a few other real-life friends: Chris Bowen is one, as well as Pastor Barry. And the dog, Sadie, is based on my childhood dog Sammy! I love doing stuff like this and will probably always find ways of placing people into my stories. It’s so fun!
  • What’s next for you? I’m releasing a book called Better than Fiction in a few weeks. (facebook.com/betterthanfiction2016) It’s a two-in-one—contemporary women’s fiction and historical romance—set in my hometown of Corona CA in 1916, during the height of its famed road races. I co-wrote this story with April W Gardner over the past several years and we are releasing it in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the final Road Race. The contemporary side features an author struggling with feeling invisible in her marriage, who then finds her heart wandering toward a male friend—one she sees as ideal, attentive, spiritual, and attractive enough to base her fictional hero on. The historical side features a romance between a hotshot racer and a female mechanic.
    While creating a fictional romance between her 1916 heroine and a reckless racecar driver, a novelist falls prey to an emotional affair with the man who inspires her handsome hero.
  • What is the best/hardest thing about indie publishing? Retaining complete control is a good feeling, but the hardest part is learning to market so readers know I exist.
  • How can readers best support their favorite indie authors? We need reviews. There is a minimum threshold of reviews needed to be considered for various promotions, and indies have a bigger challenge when it comes to crossing that barrier.
  • Could you tell us about your journey to publication? In 2007 I was inspired by Stephanie Myers’ story of writing her books during her kids’ swimming lessons that I sat down at my screen determined to get an entire story written. I had no clue where to start such a monumental task so I started searching online for guidance. I ended up finding a NaNoWriMo board, and the Snowflake Method, both of which were so helpful in those early days. I wrote and rewrote this story multiple times over the next 8 years, learning the craft, attending conferences, finding mentors and critique partners. In 2012 the manuscript was a Genesis finalist under the original title, Beauty for Ashes. I rewrote the story again, sent it around to the big pub houses, and got great feedback. But it was not ultimately picked up. I finally decided last year to go ahead and release my baby on my own. Ultimately, I think this was the best choice for me for this title. It’s so near to my heart that I’m glad I have all the control in the final manuscript, the cover, etc. and it was time
  • When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing? I love musical theater and old Rogers and Hammerstein movies, hanging out with my teens watching Once Upon A Time (though it isn’t what it used to be, we’ve bonded over the show. Plus, everyone says that my husband looks like Neal Cassidy,) and I recently WON a karaoke contest singing What I’ve Been Looking For from High School Musical with my hubby at our church’s Valentine’s Day dinner. =)
  • Can you share a favorite scene/line from your story? Grace in the Flames is a weighty book, but there are definitely some lighter scenes full of fun and romance. This excerpt makes me smile. The hero works at a home improvement store and our couple have just begun moving from friends to something more when this scene takes place:

Once outside, he took her hand. “If you have an hour to spare, there’s something I want to do.”

She stopped while he got out his keys. “Like what?”

“You’ll see.” He released her hand for her to climb into the car, then waited till she was safely settled to close her door.

When they pulled up to their destination a few minutes later, Home Depot was the last place she expected to see. She shut her door and looked over at John, who wore the expression of a child on his way to Chuck E Cheese. “So…what are we doing here?”

He shrugged. “I used to love Saturday mornings building stuff with my dad. Come on.” He held his hand out and she took it, letting him lead her into the home improvement store. Strangest date ever.

When they’d stepped through the doors, John paused, lifted his face, and inhaled deeply. “Ah…smell that?”

“Saw dust and paint fumes?”

“No. Creativity.”

He led her toward the back center of the store where long tables had been set up. Small squares of wood lay on them, and tools, and her eyebrows came together. “What’s this?”

“Our Saturday morning project.” He grinned then grabbed a work apron from the table, slipped it over her head, and reached around her waist. His nearness made her head pound, and he smiled down at her as he secured the apron ties, giving them a little yank. She stumbled into him and her hands flew to his chest as she steadied herself.

They both froze. “Sorry,” she whispered up at him.

“Don’t be.” His hint of a smile made her heart skip a beat, then she followed his gaze down to where her hands were still plastered against his…very firm chest.

Red faced, she withdrew them and inched backward with a shaky smile. Her legs would not hold her up much longer if she didn’t get some distance. She pivoted toward the table and busied herself examining its contents. “So…how do I help? What do you need?”

“Well, first, you won’t be helping…you’ll be building. And second, you’ll need this.” From somewhere under the table, he produced a hammer and held it out to her with both hands.

She stared down at it. “It’s pink.”

He smiled. “Yep. And it’s yours.”

“You…bought me a hammer?”

“You’re welcome.”

She poked out her lips and nodded, then wrapped her fingers around the handle. “Thanks.”

Definitely the strangest date ever.

MichelleMassaro

MICHELLE MASSARO writes contemporary fiction soaked in grace. She makes her home in Southern California with her husband of over two decades and their four children. She’s dabbled in homeschooling, teaching Creation Science, and leading worship. When she isn’t tinkering with words, Michelle enjoys old Rogers and Hammerstein movies, making kefir, and Sudoku. A new lipstick and a good French roast always make her happy.

Michelle’s contact information:

NEWSLETTER: eepurl.com/bPQL0T

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MichelleMassaroBooks

Twitter: @MLMassaro

Instagram: @MichelleMassaroBooks

Website: www.michellemassarobooks.com

Amazon purchase link: http://amzn.to/1Y8EcPA

Better Than Fiction Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BetterThanFiction2016

Thanks for having me, Bev!

Bev: You bet, thanks for visiting, and keep up the good work!

Bev out.

 

 

“The Kaleidoscope” Cover Award – InD’Tale Magazine contest

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Cover Design by Diana Carlile

Cover Award: July 2015, InD’tale Magazine names The Kaleidoscope the winning cover of its Creme de la Creme monthly contest. Recently I blogged the process, from conception to final product and how each element describes the story within. Here’s a link to their full review.

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.

grandma-gatewood

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/

InD’Tale Magazine Reviews “The Kaleidoscope”

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Five gold stars

“Harold Donaldson is brilliant with computers and at a complete loss as to how to deal with people. Separated from his wife, he decides to prove to her that he is not the boring, unambitious man she thinks he is. In his attempt to be promoted at work, he starts interacting with those around him by following a step-by-step guide that somehow results in him becoming the custodian of a beautiful kaleidoscope. It changes his life in a way he never expected: the kaleidoscope is no ordinary toy. It can allow the user to catch a glimpse of their future, and soon Harold’s simple attempt at a promotion stirs up an old conspiracy involving his father and sends him on a journey of self-discovery that will change everything.

A rare combination of philosophical, mystery and thriller, with “The Kaleidoscope” author B.K. Nault has created some of the best character growth this reader has seen in a long time. Harold is disconnected from people, unable to understand them or be understood because of his family and his past tragedies, and yet by the end of the novel he goes from flat and boring to deep, friendly, loveable, and interesting. The mystery that unravels around the Kaleidoscope is well written and unravels in a way that leaves the reader both thinking and guessing. The bit of romance Harold finds as well, will make the reader smile and cheer at the end. “The Kaleidoscope” should be on every reader’s must-read list!”

Sarah E. Bradley

Crowned Heart

Ind’Tale Magazine awarded “The Kaleidoscope” the Crowned Heart of Excellence

Would you dare look?

If you haven’t already, find me on Facebook! Here’s the latest post. We’re talking about what you hope for the future. Find out what others are saying.

 

Everyone's been talking about "The Kaleidoscope," my new suspense/mystery/thriller from Wild Rose Press because of its…

Posted by Beverly Nault on Sunday, June 7, 2015

Winning Cover Design – before, during and after

Update! The Kaleidoscope was just named the winner of InD’Tale Magazine’s  Creme de la Creme cover contest!

 

Many of you have asked about the design of The Kaleidoscope‘s cover, which is getting a lot of attention because it’s so pretty. It actually came out better than I’d ever imagined. Here’s a fun step-by-step look at how award winning cover artist Diana Carlile of Wild Rose Press and I approached it. Here are some before and after pictures.

First, let’s look at the after and then I’ll break it down.

The Kaleidoscope cover

Cover by Diana Carlile

Description: The elements on the cover evoke the storylines that weave throughout this suspense thriller full of intrigue and mystery. The graphic of the Los Angeles skyline including Hollywood, downtown, and iconic palms reflect the setting. The tree of life represents a crucial spot where many of the story’s pivotal moments take place, including the turnover of the kaleidoscope to the hero who must discover what gives it power. The jewel-toned backdrop are the colors seen by anyone brave enough to look into the ‘scope. The title’s whimsical font hints at the light-hearted tone despite dark moments, and the teaser line entices the reader to step inside for a page turning suspenseful romance full of old fashioned good vs evil adventure.

The Tree of Life

We searched through tons of pictures of trees, and once you read the book you’ll know why the tree is SO important. Here’s the one we chose.

tree of lifeSkyline

I wanted to suggest Los Angeles because most of the story takes place there. This graphic is not too overpowering and you have to really look, but once you do, you realize why it’s also important to the story…hint hint!

Jewel-toned backdrop

Finally, the background. This probably gave me more trouble than the other elements. Sometimes pictures are too “on the nose” and as the colors were important and the suggestion of what you’d see inside a ‘scope change, it wasn’t as important what shape they were in, because your mind can arrange them in your imagination. But it was important to suggest the colors and changeability. Is that a word?

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We played around with putting the purple at the bottom, but the yellow gave the illusion of a sun rising behind the skyline so we settled on this orientation.

One more element completed the look. When you don’t have people on the cover, I believe it’s important it’s not dull, so we added a star burst effect using this graphic to draw the eye and add some energy.


And then Diana brought the yellow “bleed” from the stained glass image into the text. It’s subtle, but draws the eye down to the title. She chose the whimsical font, which at first seemed a little steampunk to me, but really grew on me. Since the tone of the story is a bit lighthearted, it really works and now I love it.

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I hope you liked this look at how the sausage is made and I really hope you’ll take a look into The Kaleidoscope for yourself!

 

Click here to read a Sample of The Kaleidoscope

The Kaleidoscope - paperback 3D

Bev out!

UPDATE: July, 2015 The Kaleidoscope‘s cover won the InD’Tale Magazine Creme de la Creme Cover contest!