Category Archives: Guest post

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. Can anyone advise me if Cialis http://hesca.net/cialis/ really is that safe? I have no erection, and am afraid that it may be a problem. All day it is great and works fine. Also there wasn’t anything like this in the precautions found online, but still that’s my health, and I don’t want to end up with heart attack or anything similar. Please share your experience, or if you know someone who know the answer. 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

 

 

One Writer’s Encouragement for Hearing God’s Will

Welcome fellow Texas girl, Jayna Morrow, who’s got a great message of encouragement from a time when she experienced a fresh start in her own writing. (Love the bluebonnet cover, Jayna!)
Thanks, Bev!
For me, writing is therapy. Upon completing any project, I reflect on what I learned and anchor it to Bible scripture. My debut novel, Garrett, was a last-ditch effort to jumpstart a writing career that was going nowhere. Like Garrett, I was at a point in my life where I was ready to give up. The plan I had for my life just wasn’t working out. That’s when I stumbled across this scripture:
“You can make plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:21
Garrett COVER_72 dpi-1
And that’s when it hit me that I hadn’t consulted God about what was in the plan for my life. All I knew was that I had the urge to write around the clock and there was nothing I could do to make it go away. I know. I tried to quit writing for an entire year and couldn’t. Garrett Hearth felt the same way. An injury had ended his athletic career and he believed that his life held no purpose beyond that.
But Garrett Hearth is a fictional character?
There’s a saying that goes, “art imitates life far more than life imitates art.” Oscar Wilde wrote those famous words. So can we learn and grow through our art? I believe so absolutely. But more importantly, can God speak to us through our art? YES!
In my novel, Garrett finds an entirely different purpose than the one he had in mind. In my case, it was all a matter of turning my gift of writing over to God. Until that time, I had been writing traditional romance and going nowhere. A small voice told me I should be writing inspirational romance. Then a Christian friend told me the same thing at about the same time. That solidified things for me. I completed a Christian romance novel, and that’s when things started happening.
A double lesson from one scripture.
Sometimes the plan you have yourself isn’t the one God intended. And sometimes the plan matches up, but you’re not doing things for the right reason or in the right way.
One solution for both lessons.
Pray, pray, pray, PRAY! Turn your life over to God. Whatever your purpose, whatever your talent, whatever your interest or hobby. Find a way to glorify God in all things.
About Jayna:
Texas romance author, Jayna Morrow, has been creating imaginary worlds since a young age. As an elementary school teacher, Jayna juggles the demands of molding young minds, raising two precious daughters, and spending time with her husband/best

Jayna Morrow

friend…while making time for her passion of writing romance novels.
Find Jayna at www.jaynamorrow.com or www.facebook.com/JaynaMorrow

on Twitter @JaynaMorrow
~ Sweet Life, Sweet Romance, Sweet Home ~
*GARRETTAvailable now from Prism Book Group*
*GABRIEL – Coming soon from Prism Book Group*
*HOLDEN – Coming soon from Prism Book Group*

 

Every Hill and Mountain – fiction

Today I’m pleased to be a part of a CrossReads book blast! Stay tuned, and read to the end to find out how to enter to win a $50 Amazon card.

Every Hill and Mountain (Time and Again) (Volume 3)

By Deborah Heal

Visiting another century…not the summer vacation she had planned.

Those who have read Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy know that Abby Thomas is a college student on a summer service project with 11-year-old Merri. And they know that the summer is not going the way Abby had expected—but in a good way. For one thing, she meets a very nice guy named John Roberts. And for another, she discovers a strange computer program called Beautiful House that lets her fast-forward and rewind life. Not her own, of course, but those of the people who lived in Merri’s old house. And the Old Dears’ old house, and…well, any old house.

And since the program worked so well for the Old Dears’ family tree project, Abby’s college roommate Kate hopes it will help her find out more about her ancestor Ned Greenfield. And Kate’s fiancé Ryan thinks the program has lucrative commercial potential.

Abby and John reluctantly agree to help Kate, but only on the condition that she and Ryan promise to keep the program a secret, because if it fell into the wrong hands…well, no one wants Big Brother invading their privacy.

The two couples take a trip to the tiny town of Equality, set in the hills of southern Illinois and the breath-taking Shawnee National Forest. According to Kate’s research, Ned Greenfield was born there at a place called Hickory Hill.

The mayor, police chief, and townspeople are hospitable and helpful—until the topic of Hickory Hill comes up. They seem determined to keep them away, telling them, “There’s nothing there for you to see.”

Eventually they find Hickory Hill on their own—both the mansion and the lonely hill it sits upon. Built in 1834, Hickory Hill stands sentinel over Half Moon Salt Mine where the original owner John Granger accumulated his blood-tainted fortune.

Abby and her friends meet Miss Granger, Hickory Hill’s current eccentric owner, and they eventually get the chance to time-surf there. Their shocking discovery on the third floor concerning Kate’s ancestor Ned Greenfield is almost too much to bear. What they learn sends them racing to the opposite end of the state to find the missing link in Kate’s family tree. And there they are reminded that God is in the business of redemption—that one day he’ll make all things new.

Download on Kindle | Purchase Paperback

Deborah Heal
sticker picture
Deborah Heal, the author of the Time and Again time travel mystery series, was born not far from the setting of her book Every Hill and Mountain and grew up “just down the road” from the setting of Time and Again. Today she lives with her husband in Waterloo, Illinois, where she enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about regional history. She has three grown children, three grandchildren, and two canine buddies Digger and Scout (a.k.a. Dr. Bob). She loves to interact with her readers, who may learn more about the history behind the books at her website www.deborahheal.com and her Facebook author page www.facebook.com/DeborahHeal.



Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Deborah Heal! a Rafflecopter giveawayThis book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Body Image Lies Women Believe: Free Kindle eBook & $100 Giveaway

By Shelley Hitz and contributing authors

Download on Kindle

FREE three days only: 5/8/13, 5/9/13 and 5/10/13

PLUS enter to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

 

About the Book, Body Image Lies Women Believe:

  • Are you insecure about your looks?
  • Have you ever compared yourself to someone else and found yourself wanting?
  • Do complements or put downs determine the image you have of your beauty?

Real Stories of Overcoming Body Image Lies Women Believe with God’s Truth

Throughout this book, Christian women share their stories of how they have struggled with body image lies and a distorted view of themselves. However, each of their stories also contains hope – the hope of replacing these lies with God’s truth. Our prayer for you is that you find encouragement within these pages and allow Christ to transform you with His truth.

We Are Each Created Unique

God has created each one of us with unique abilities, unique talents and a unique personality. As women we are influencers and God has given us that role and our beauty to share with others. Yet so often we settle for a counterfeit. The enemy has counterfeited our idea of beauty, convincing us to share our beauty with the world in a distorted way. Today that often means that we see our beauty as what we look like on the outside.

What Lies Have You Been Believing?

Join us for the journey of replacing body image lies with truth from God’s Word.

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FREE on 5/8/13, 5/9/13 and 5/10/13

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Shelley Hitz

Shelley HItzShelley Hitz is an award-winning and international best-selling author. Her openness and vulnerability as she shares her own story of hope and healing through her books will inspire and encourage you.

Shelley has been ministering alongside her husband, CJ, since 1998. They currently travel and speak to teens and adults around the country. Shelley’s main passion is to share God’s truth and the freedom in Christ she has found with others. She does this through her books, websites and speaking engagements.

Follow Shelley Hitz
Website | Facebook | Twitter
 

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A Life of Gratitude: Free Kindle Book and Giveaway

By Shelley Hitz

About the Book:

A Life of Gratitude: How to Overcome Self-Pity and Negativity

During a season of transition in my life, I found myself overwhelmed with negative emotions like self-pity and a complaining spirit. It was as if a dark cloud had descended over me. I prayed and asked God for wisdom on how to overcome these negative emotions. As I did, I sensed Him leading me to do a 21 day gratitude challenge.

Over the course of the 21 days, God began to change me as I spent intentional time being grateful for all I had been given. I did this through writing in my journal each day and also sending a hand-written thank you note to someone different each day. This also led me to writing out 21 prayers of gratitude and compiling 21 stories of gratitude.

I want to share what I learned with you in the pages of this book which includes:

  • 21 Days of Gratitude Challenge
  • 21 Prayers of Gratitude
  • 21 Stories of Gratitude

What to Expect On Each Day:

  • Read my personal stories, struggles and reflections.
  • Read one scripture and one quote about gratitude.
  • Apply one personal application step from the challenge.
  • Read one prayer of gratitude
  • Read one story of gratitude

Get Accountability and Encouragement

Along with the 21 day challenge, I also started a private Facebook group to provide accountability and encouragement for myself but also for others who decide to join me in the challenge. You will get access to this group as well. It has been amazing to see God at work in each of our lives.

Will you join me on this journey to gratitude?

 

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Shelley Hitz

Shelley HItzShelley Hitz is an award-winning and international best-selling author. Her openness and vulnerability as she shares her own story of hope and healing through her books will inspire and encourage you.

Shelley has been ministering alongside her husband, CJ, since 1998. They currently travel and speak to teens and adults around the country. Shelley’s main passion is to share God’s truth and the freedom in Christ she has found with others. She does this through her books, websites and speaking engagements.

Follow Shelley Hitz
Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Does your e-book marketing need a fresh start?

Today my guest poster is Karen Baney, here to help up with a Fresh Start to Marketing ebooks.

Are you an author and getting down about your eBook sales or the lack thereof?  If so, it may be time for a fresh start to your marketing efforts.

Doing too much of the same thing can cause your marketing messages to get lost in the crowd.  For example, let’s say you’re in a cross-promotion group with about 20 people. Lets’s say you’ve sought refuge in Youtube and Facebook, and have used marketing tactics from themarketingheaven.com to further your reach. You’ve tweeted out messages for each other somewhat consistently over the past four months—and the messages have been pretty much the same day after day after day.  Perhaps you’ve started to see a decline in your sales or you just feel like this isn’t helping anymore.  You’re probably right.

What happened?  Why did this marketing strategy stop working?  Well, your audience started turning a deaf ear because they’ve heard what you were saying.  You are now white noise.

So, how can you freshen up your marketing?

  • Try a new channel.  If cross-promotion has become stale, then try some paid advertising.  If paid advertising has become stale, try some guest blog posts.  If guest blog posts have become stale, try cross-promotion.  No one strategy in and of itself is necessarily ineffective.  It could just be that you’ve worn out one particular channel for now.
  • Freshen up your messaging.  Whether you’re tweeting or using some other marketing channel, try writing new marketing messages.  Perhaps you’ve used that reader’s comment one too many times.  Or that novel line has lost its luster.  Go back to your book.  Spend a half hour flipping through the pages.  Look for a new angle.  Find new reviewer quotes to use.
  • Pick a new audience.  Does your book have broader appeal than the audience you’ve been targeting?  If so, maybe it’s time to focus some attention on a different audience.  For example, I have a Christian historical romance series set in Arizona in the 1860s.  When I first started marketing, I focused on just Christian historical romance readers.  But what about those who love westerns?  I completely missed the obvious:  my books were westerns.  Here was this entirely different audience that would probably like reading them.  Maybe the same could be true for you.
  • Focus on beefing up an existing channel.  Are you great at using Twitter, but terrible with Facebook?  Maybe it’s time to spend less time on the first and more on the second.  Get to know the ins and outs of the neglected channel better (i.e. Facebook).

These are just a few ideas suggested by this source: Roofing Marketing Pros, on how you can breathe new life into your marketing.  Did one of these ideas stand out to you?   Do you have your own ideas?  If so, take a few minutes to jot them down and start working on integrating your ideas into your marketing plan over the next few weeks.

Don’t forget about your old marketing channels or messaging.  Save them for a future date when it’s time to mix things up again.  Eventually, your fresh messaging will become stale and your old messaging might just be the fresh message you’re looking for.  Marketing can be funny like that.

 

Did you like Karen’s advice?  If so, pick up her new ebook:  10 Keys to eBook Marketing Success.  It’s free on Amazon for a limited time.

Best-selling self-published author, Karen Baney, enjoys sharing information to help authors learn about the Business of Writing.  She holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University and has worked in various business related career fields for the past 20 years.  She writes Christian Historical Fiction and Contemporary Romance novels.  To learn more about her novels visit her website:  karenbaney.com.  Authors can find tips and information on self-publishing and marketing at:  www.myauthorservices.com.

 

Connect with Karen on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

 

Looking for a Hero?

Today my guest is Naty Matos with her Christmas novella.

In life we all are in need of a hero. As we face the difficulties we look for a way out. We want a path that will set our journey in a better direction. So we look around for someone to guide that journey. We don’t want empty words of someone who has not been in our situations. We don’t want the counsel of those who speak out of their minds and not their experiences. We want someone who has been in our shoes and has been able to overcome.
But one thing I’ve noticed is that most of our heroes fail. They overcome dire situations and we think we can look up to them. All of the sudden something happens where they do something that we didn’t expect and they disappoint us. The word of God alert us of placing our faith in humans that will fail us in Psalm 146:3 when he tells us “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.”

In the direst moment of my life I found a hero. A hero who could I relate to. Who was able to show me a new way of life. See, when I heard about salvation I used to ask, why do I need a savior? What do I need to be saved from? I discovered that I had to be saved from a life of sin, from living life the wrong way. I needed to learn to live the right way to stop the pain that I thought it was normal to live. And sometimes I needed to be saved from myself.

After years of banging my head against the wall without results and decided that maybe I should try something else, something different. I found a hero that had lived the things I had lived. He was lied to, mistreated and abused. He was rejected and taken advantage of. The difference between him and I was that I had brought some of those things upon myself. He had done nothing to deserve that treatment. He was sinless as it states in 2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” He even loved me to the point of teaching me how to lead a different path in life. Now that’s a hero, I can believe in and follow.

By now you probably have figured out that Jesus is my hero. Since I’ve followed his path he’s never let me down. He has made my life worth living and given me a better quality one. So, have you been struggling? Have you been trying all sorts of things and nothing seems to work? Then maybe is time to try one last time. Try the one who loves you no matter what you’ve done. The one who will satisfy your life. Remember that it’s worth making this decision. The bible tells us in Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” How great it is that he is able to do for us way more than we can imagine, way more than we deserve.

It’s time to try the way of Jesus Christ!

Check out my new novella “Season’s Greetings from Amelia” available now on Kindle, Smashwords and Nook. This great novella brings mystery, suspense and the best stocking stuffer for your favorite e-reader. You can get your copy for just 0.99 cents only during the month of December.

Book Description
Daisy has the perfect life, beautiful children and a wonderful husband. And Christmas is right around the corner. Tis the season to be jolly… Or is it?
Daisy’s life is flipped upside down by strange letters that are sent to her by her best friend, Amelia. And as her life continues to quickly spiral out of control, she realizes that something BIG is about to happen. Can she put aside her confusion, hurt, and anger in order to solve a mystery that may have a horrific ending????
Can Daisy’s life ever return to normal regardless to whether she does or doesn’t?

Author Bio
Naty Matos was born in the city of New York. She grew up in the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico and now lives in the city of Atlanta.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with a Minor in Mass Media Communications and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling.
Naty writes Christian fiction and non-fiction. She maintains a blog on Christian Living Topics atwww.therisingmuse.com

Copyright © The Rising Muse 2012

Free Book for the broken-hearted, “Trusting God When Bad Things Happen”

 

From Bev: Today I’m hosting my friend, Shelley Hitz, who is offering her short book of comfort for free. We pray you are blessed, and find encouragement by her words. Here’s Shelley.

When bad things happen, what is your reaction? Do you trust God even when you don’t understand?

There was a dark season in my life when it literally felt like an earthquake had occurred. Everything in my life seemed to be falling apart…my family, my finances, our church. And I asked God the simple question, “Why?” This book is the result of my own search for answers. In the end, God gave me illustrations that I will share with you and brought healing to my heart and my distorted view of Him. I was able to trust Him again, even though my circumstances had not changed.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I (Jesus) have overcome the world!” – John 16:33 

One Reader’s Response:

This book has Biblical answers to the ‘Why?’ we are hearing so much today after the shooting tragedy in Connecticut. Thank you, Shelley, for the timeliness and wisdom.” ~Barbara

 Download This Book for Free

For anyone interested, you can download the book “Trusting God When Bad Things Happen” FREE this month.

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/263666

100% Off Coupon Code: HB95F

Expires: January 1, 2013

 

This book is also available for $0.99 on Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ALLQW5A

 

Please feel free to share this book and coupon code with anyone you think could benefit from the topic.

An unplanned pregnancy?

Today I’m honored to host Deborah Heal with a poignant, thought-provoking story that will touch your heart.

*****

Writing Real Good

by Deborah Heal

Christian fiction writers sometimes think their stories are less important than the sermons, essays, and treatises of the “serious” non-fiction writer. But imaginative writing has tremendous power to teach deep truths. For example, many, many people have come to know God through C. S. Lewis’ Narnia stories.

Storytelling is even an effective tool for fund raising. One Christmas, when it was time to send out the monthly newsletter for our crisis pregnancy center, I decided to use a story to help readers understand the problems families faced. Here is the letter I sent out:

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger.” Luke 2:7

Every parent wants the best for their precious little ones. But for some couples like, Carl and Brenda…

June, 1955. Carl was just out of the service and couldn’t find a job. And he had a wife and two kids—Brenda, three-year-old Stevie, and two-month-old Patty. So Carl packed up the family and moved, but with the recession there were no jobs. For a while Brenda worked at the dime store, and Carl stayed home to watch the kids. With no gas for the car, he walked across town when he heard the Shell station was hiring. Sure enough, the sign in the window said, HELP WANTED, but the man inside told him the job had just been filled. It was a long walk back home. “The Air Force will take me back,” he told Brenda. But the Air Force was not taking men with two children.

The approaching Christmas season just highlighted their misery. “Well,” Brenda said, “at least Patty is too little to know about Christmas presents.” Or maybe she did and that’s why she cried so much. She seemed hungry all the time, no matter how often she nursed, and Brenda began to wonder if she had enough milk.

Brenda cried in the doctor’s office when he explained that, “yes, you can get pregnant even while you’re nursing.” And when baby Mikey came, he slept in a dresser drawer because Patty still needed the crib.

This Christmas season I am asking you to consider a very special gift so that we can continue to help families like Carl and Brenda’s resist the pressure to abort their baby “Mikey’s.” Your gift will allow us to help with baby supplies—like a crib for the baby to sleep in.

Apparently, my little story helped to put a face on the problems associated with unplanned pregnancies, because donations poured into the center. 

Does the story seem too overly sentimental? The “Patty” in the story is me. I’m grateful to be able to use my family’s ordeal to write “real good.”

 

Deborah Heal is the author of the young adult novels Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy She lives in Waterloo, Illinois, where she enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about southern Illinois history. She is married and has three grown children, three grandchildren, and a canine buddy named Scout (a.k.a. Dr. Bob). Currently, she is working on book three in the Time and Again trilogy.

Visit Deborah at her website: http://www.deborahheal.com/, her  Facebook Fan Page, and Goodreads. Her books may be purchased on Amazon.com