Reading Submission Guidelines: Your Gateway to Publication

SUBMISSION CLOUDI’ve had this blog since 2006. And the last few years I’ve opened it up to more guest posts and author interviews.  Two reasons: I love to give other authors exposure, and I often learn useful things from my guests. Another reason is I don’t have to write every single blog. 😊

I want my blog posts to bring value. The same way publishers of magazines and books want their content to. Which is why magazines and blogs have submission guidelines.

Why I added submission guidelines

This past year I created submission guidelines for Jubilee Writer. My goal was to make it easier for guest bloggers to supply me with the things I need. Over the years, I’ve sent additional emails to upcoming guests requesting headshots and cover art or missing bios. My guidelines are intended to eliminate unnecessary emails. Instead, make my needs very clear from the get-go. There’s a list of possible questions in my guidelines for new author interviews. A time saver for both the guest and me.

And yet

There are times I still need to ask for missing items. Authors sometimes send me their media kit, which makes more work at my end. I would need to cut and paste, change fonts and in the end request they resend photos and book covers as attachments because I couldn’t pull the pictures from the word document.

Now that I have guidelines, I’ve stopped doing the extra work. My instructions are clear. Photos must be attached. I ask the guest to do the work and I explain why. For new authors, it’s a learning experience. I’ll take the time to help newbies get the components right. But magazines and book publishers won’t bother. They may not have time to request missing parts of your submission.  It will more than likely end up in the trash file.

But I have a media kit

If a publisher requests a media kit—send it. If not, please don’t. I recall taking pains to create a job resume only to have to fill out a handwritten application. Every blank had to be completed. No “see attached resume” was allowed.  That’s the same philosophy with guidelines. Give them what they want, how they want it.

Many job resumes and submissions are online where every space must be filled in. No attaching a media kit. You can’t cut and paste from your media kit into blanks. If you don’t know what a media kit is and didn’t read Tuesday’s guest post from Paige Boggs on Media Kits, click here.

I repeat

Always send what the publisher, editor, or agent wants IN THE FORMAT they want it. I was surprised when Women’s World magazine’s guidelines required a hard copy of a short story mailed with an SASE. They refused to take emailed versions. Chicken Soup for the Soul is an online submission form only.

Most guidelines contain a disclaimer like: “if you do this instead of that, we will delete your email without opening it”. A retired literary agent told a story at a conference I attended about a persistent author. Guidelines on the agent’s website clearly stated he only took proposals and manuscripts via email. He had very specific steps involved in creating the kind of proposal he wanted. This particular author hand delivered his manuscript to the agent’s door. Without skipping a beat, the agent wrote across the manuscript a rejection note and handed it back.

And Again, I Say

Read the guidelines, then read them again. Follow every step. If you aren’t computer savvy when it comes to attachments, ask someone to teach you. Unless a publisher states they want your submission in the body of an email—always send it as an attachment. (Side note: clearly title the attachment i.e. Short Story Title, by Authors name and make sure your email subject line is clear as well.) When you think you have all your ducks in a row, count them again. It’s embarrassing to send off your email and forget to attach your manuscript, catch the mistake and send another email. Some publishers may glance at the subject line and think you are violating the guidelines of not sending a corrected manuscript after submitting. They may push the delete button without opening the email and miss your cute “Oops! I forgot to add the attachment.”

Get in the habit of reading submission guidelines thoroughly even for lowly blogs like mine. That habit will improve your publishing chances and show you as a professional even if it is your first ever submission.

What are some unusual submission guidelines you’ve run into as an author?

 

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The Importance of Author Media Kits

By Paige Boggs

Thank you so much for having me today, Cindy! I am so excited to be guest posting on Jubilee Writer. For those of you who don’t know me, I run Electively Paige – a book blog as well as author solutions company. Every day, I field emails from authors that either want me to review their books on my website, or work with me on their book marketing and publicity plans. Oftentimes, there is a lot of back and forth emails getting the information I need to feature a book, which wastes quite a bit of valuable time that could be spent garnering even more attention for that author’s books. That’s where media kits come in.

Paige Boggs headshot

The Makings of a Good Media Kit

When we see words like “kit” it often puts us in the frame of mind that it’s going to be a lot of work to put together and, quite possibly, not worth the effort. When it comes to author media kits, this couldn’t be further from the truth. A great media kit can actually save you valuable time. This is information you are emailing over and over again to book blogs, reviewers, magazines, podcasts, book stores, etc and having this information together in a neat package will also make it easier on the people you are contacting.

As far as what goes in a media kit, that can vary based on a number of things such as what you write, what you’re hoping to accomplish with the kit, and how much detail you want to put into it. In general, a good media kit will contain the following:

  • Your Contact Information – Yes, you are likely emailing them from your email address but this information can easily be lost when your email is being forwarded among members of a blog or company so it’s best to keep it in your media kit. Your full name(or pen name if you use one instead of your given name), plus your email address is all that’s necessary. If you often communicate by phone this would be a good place for that number to go, too.
  • Your Author Bio and Photo – Try and keep this clear and concise while giving a little inside peek into who you are. The one you have on your Amazon profile or in the back of your book should work nicely. The photo should be semi-professional, preferably not a selfie. This is really just a preference, but I also like to include a short one to two line bio, as well.
  • Your Important/Social Media Links – Be sure to include not only your website link, but the links to where the recipient can find you around the web such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, your newsletter, etc. Anything that might be relevant.
  • Your Book’s Press Release – I could write a whole other article on the makings of a good press release, but today is all about media kits. Basically, you need a short synopsis/overview/blurb of the book. What is on the Amazon listing page should do nicely. Add to it your book cover, the publication date for the book(even if it’s already available), the publisher if not independently published, and the pricing of the book in all available formats(ebook, print, audiobook) as well as where it can be purchased. In press releases, it’s also a good idea to include any “angles” a media professional might want to know your book has. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train? Does it align with a special national month or day? This is something you’ll want to include to stand out from the crowd, especially since there is a chance that the journalist/blogger you’re sending your kit to has a story in the works about one of these that your book will fit into nicely. You can view a HUGE calendar of these days herehttps://nationaldaycalendar.com/calendar-at-a-glance/. Moving slightly off topic, but using hashtags associated with these fun days on social media is all but guaranteed to up your reach so I recommend you study up on these, as well.
  • Book Excerpt – A good rule of thumb is the first chapter, because that should be able to help someone decide whether or not they’d like to keep reading. Depending on the book, I’ll also include an excerpt from later in the novel, if I feel it might be relevant. I like to include a few book teaser/meme images with short book quotes. These are great for sharing on social media, and including in blog posts. Just make sure you can legally use the images. There are numerous free stock photo sites out there, and even more available for reasonable pricing. I have always been a Photoshop and Illustrator girl but I recently found my time saving graphic-making soulmate in Canva. You cannot beat the convenience of Canva for creating quick, professional-looking images. It’s completely free, but there is a paid version with more robust features that I take advantage of.
  • Sample social media postings – A page with sample tweet ideas is always a great idea, especially if this is a blog that might not have room for you around the launch of your book but would like to offer you some valuable social media real estate. This makes it easier for them to help you. I like to use mini excerpts from reviews, the book’s tagline, and anything that might catch someone’s eye.
  • A Q&A/FAQ section – These are questions you are commonly asked in interviews about yourself and the book in question. Answering these here is another good time saver for you, and gives those receiving your kit a bit more insight into who you are. I also like to include a “5 Fun Facts About…” section or similar. Bloggers get so many requests each day, and that’s a fun way to stand out from the crowds.

That’s it! I know that it looks like a lot, but it’s truly not. Especially with it being such an integral component of your author toolkit.

How to Put it All Together

This is the fun part! There are a few different ways you can put it all in one place. The way I like to do this is create a folder in Google Drive with the title of the kit, for instance, Cindy Ervin Huff’s Media Kit. To me, this is ideal because including actual attachments in cold call emails can often land you in the recipient’s spam folders – and we definitely don’t want that. Plus, it can be a hassle removing images from word documents and PDFs. Those are both still viable options if you don’t have a Google account, but if at all an option this is the route I would recommend taking. Simply upload everything I mentioned above and then make the folder public. To do this, when you’re in the folder click the drop down arrow by its title, click get shareable link, make sure link sharing is on, and copy the link they give you. It will be incredibly long, so I recommend creating a free account on bit.ly and putting that link into their link shortening program and giving it a custom url such as bit(dot)ly/YourNameMediaKit. There you have it! In what likely amounts to an hour or so of work, you have a media kit that you can use over and over when contacting a limitless amount of bloggers, journalists, book stores, and more about your book.

When NOT to Use a Media Kit

Wait, what? I know what you’re thinking. “Paige, you *just* told us how media kits are the greatest thing since Doctor Who, what gives?” Well, there are always exceptions to the rule. If the place you are attempting to contact has specific submission guidelines you always want to take that into consideration first. For instance, my review request policy page has a form you can fill out right on my website. You can view it here, as an example. http://electivelypaige.com/book-review-policy/  That doesn’t necessarily mean that your kit won’t come in handy, it makes it easy for you to copy and paste over into the website’s submission forms or in the body of the email you’re sending following their guidelines. So, yes, there will be places where you’re not going to link to your kit but overall it’s a valuable asset that you will use over and over again.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there really is no reason not to have a media kit. It will save you time and sanity, and do the same for those you are reaching out to. If you have any questions I’ve not answered here about media kits, my inbox is always open. You can reach me at paige@electivelypaige.com or on Twitter @ElectivelyPaige.

Thank you again for having me as a guest today, Cindy! I had a blast.

I enjoyed having you, Paige. You’ve givn us some great information. Thanks.

Self Publishing and Advertising on Amazon to Fulfill Your God Inspired Dream

Today  I welcome Indie Author Susan Neal, who has done very well marketing her Health books.  Lots of helpful information whether you are Indie or Traditionally published. Thank you Susan for stopping by to share your secrets for success.

Self-Publish and Advertise on Amazon to Fulfill Your God Inspired Dream

Susan Neal Headshot

 

My God-inspired dream finally came true in 2016 when I self-published my first book. A year and a half later, I had published three books and was generating over $1000/month in revenue. In this blog, I will share my secret to get your book published and improve your book sales.

Why I self-published

For two years I wrote a book about Christian yoga, but it was in one of the smallest writing niches. Therefore, I couldn’t find a publisher to publish my book. However, as a follower of Christ, I believe God inspired me to write and publish Scripture Yoga to assist other Christian yoga teachers to speak Bible verses over their class participants. I wanted to provide a godly environment for Christians who choose to participate in yoga. Therefore, I decided to self-publish, and I am satisfied with the results.

Yoga books

My first book, Scripture Yoga: 21 Bible Lessons for Christian Yoga Classes, became a #1 Amazon best selling yoga book. That same year I self-published my second book, Yoga for Beginners, and two Christian Yoga Card Decks. In 2017, I successfully began using Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), and within six months my revenue increased from $400 to $1000/month.

Advertising

To advertise on AMS, you need a Kindle Direct Publishing account (to promote your Kindle book) and an Amazon Advantage account (to market your print book). I recommend using sponsored ads where your book shows up at the top of the list when an Amazon customer searches for books similar to yours and at the bottom of a competitive book’s product detail page. It is the only ad that shows up twice. The AMS steps to set up an ad are easy to follow. I recommend checking your ad every couple days to make sure you are making and not losing money. You can easily pause or terminate your ad at any time.

Diet Books

In December 2017, I expanded my genre with my third book, 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates. I plan to create a “Healthy Living Series” of books with topics to help readers improve diabetes, dementia, and autoimmune diseases. My goal is to self-publish at least two books per year.

7StepsKindleCover

 

Susan’s Background

I am an RN with a masters in health science along with being a health nut, so I want to help people improve their health by sharing my expertise. My motto is “Inspiring others to improve their health so they can serve God better.”

I was inspired to write 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates because my sister was having health problems and most of it was due to her addiction to refined carbohydrates and sugar. She asked me for help, so I developed the seven-step plan in this book. She fearlessly embraced the lifestyle change and new way of eating. Now her rosacea, achy joints, and irritable bowel syndrome are gone, along with a lot of weight. She feels and looks great.

Since she experienced great success, I put her story and the seven-step plan in my book so it could help others. I believe God programmed our bodies to heal if we eat the foods He gave us to eat, not the food industry. This is a Christian book with Bible verses to recite when tempted and a “binding the strongman of addiction plan.”

My latest project is a Christian study guide and journal to accompany 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates. I love the Word of God and want to create something similar to a Bible study that can be used in small groups at churches. A journal would help participants to recognize unhealthy eating patterns and express their feelings before God.

Scripture that inspires

Currently, my favorite verse is Ephesians 3:20 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think (NLT).” I couldn’t believe that I published my first book, much less my third, but God prepared me. Over the previous decade, God inspired me to write mini-Bible studies to recite while I taught Scripture Yoga™ classes, and this content is what I used in my book Scripture Yoga. This spring I am teaching Scripture Yoga™ at the Florida Christian Writers Conference and Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat.

My writing support

I believe the best support system for a writer, other than God, is a Word Weaver Christian Writer’s Critique Group. My fellow members are not only my peers who provide exceptional advice to improve my work, but they have become my dearest friends. We pray for each other and encourage one another during the ups and downs of this unique career. In my Word Weavers group, I have found accountability partners and prayer partners. We also share resources that work for us. Recently, I joined a second Word Weaver group that is online as I needed more critiquing of my work. Go to Word-Weavers.com and see if a group is located near you. If not, you can join an online group.

Advice for new writers

I understand the disappointment of not having a publisher choose your manuscript. If you have a God-inspired dream to publish a book, you can take the reins into your own hands and self-publish; I did and you can too! I also understand the frustration of low book sales, but AMS advertising solved that problem for me. Blessings to you in your writing endeavors.

Free Gift for you from Susan

Gain access to a Scripture Yoga™ class video titled, “The Lord’s Festivals.” The mini-Bible study in this yoga session is about the seven festivals God gave the Israelites. This class reveals how Jesus Christ fulfilled four of the festivals, and the last three are biblical prophecy. To receive this video click here.

Susan’s Healthy Living Blog

Susan posts healthy menus along with the corresponding grocery shopping list and recipes, and many other healthy lifestyle tips at her blog HealthyLivingSeriesBlog.com and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HealthyLivingSeries/.

About the Author

Susan Neal RN, MBA, MHS published three books, Scripture Yoga a #1 Amazon best-selling yoga book, Yoga for Beginners which ranked #3, and 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates. She published two sets of Christian Yoga Card Decks, “How to Receive God’s Peace” and “Fruit of the Spirit” and two Christian Yoga DVDs, God’s Mighty Angels and What the Bible Says About Prayer. She produced a Hospice C.D., Bedside Encouragement: When YouDon’t Know How to Say Goodbye. These products are available on Amazon and ChristianYoga.com.

 

Her two digital products Eat to Live with a Low-Carbohydrate, Low-Glycemic, Anti-Inflammatory Diet, and How to Prevent, Improve, and Reverse Alzheimer’s and Dementia are great resources for attaining optimal health. These two products are sold on Gumroad.com and ChristianYoga.com. Susan is the president of an online Word Weaver Christian Writers Critique Group and vice-president of the Destin Word Weaver Group. She has been interviewed on Moody Radio, Blog Talk Radio, and Premier Christian Radio from the UK.

Susan founded Scripture Yoga™, a form of Christian yoga, and enjoys leading classes at her church and fitness club. She is a speaker and enjoys teaching Scripture Yoga™ sessions at women’s retreats, Christian conferences, and yoga retreats. If you would like Susan to speak or teach yoga at your conference, you can contact her at SusanNeal@Bellsouth.net.

 

You can follow Susan on:

https://www.facebook.com/ScriptureYoga/

https://twitter.com/SusanNealYoga

https://www.youtube.com/c/SusanNealScriptureYoga/

https://www.pinterest.com/SusanNealYoga/

https://www.instagram.com/scriptureyoga/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susannealyoga/

https://www.facebook.com/HealthyLivingSeries/

7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates Back Cover Blurb

Over half of Americans live with a chronic illness, primarily due to the overconsumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Seven Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates provides a day-by-day plan to wean your body off of these addictive products and regain your health. These changes in your eating habits will start your lifestyle journey to the abundant life Jesus wants you to experience. Not a life filled with disease and poor health.

You will learn:

  • how to eliminate brain fog, cure diseases, and lose weight

  • foods that damage versus foods that are beneficial—the ones God gave us to eat, not the food industry

  • healthy food alternatives and menu planning

  • the science behind food addiction, Candida, and emotional reasons we overeat

  • to identify food triggers and use God’s Word to fight impulsive eating

  • resources—educational videos and books, meal planning, support organizations, recipes

Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” (TLB). Are you living life in its fullness? Is your health or weight impeding you from embracing a healthy, bountiful life? Take these simple seven steps and regain the life you were created for. You will love the new you!

 

Purchase: Click here to purchase 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates on Amazon.

Susan thank you for these great insights and a wonderful testimony.  I’ve never persued Yoga but you make me want to check your books out. I am going to recommend your book to friends.

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25 Common Sense Warnings to cross over the finish line of Indie Publishing

This week I welcome two Indie published non-fiction authors to share their experiences and tips. Today, my friend and accountability partner Darlene Larson shares insights she learned getting her first devotionalEnableme,Lord, to Shift in book form.

Thursday Morning-427-Edit (3)

25 Common Sense Warnings

To cross over the finish line of Indie publishing!

By Darlene Larson

Somewhere along the line in life, when an author feels that tug on their heart to write their first book, they step toward a writer’s conference. For me, it had been years since college and yes, I had thought of writing books but I buried my treasure, the writing craft. It would have made my life much easier in the last lap of indie publishing if I would have heard these warnings at a writer’s conference,

 

25 common sense warnings to wrap up your first book!

  1. Once your final manuscript is sent off to be published expect the final proof to take longer than you planned. You may need to see three proofs before you are pleased with the final copy!
  2. Did you include acknowledgments of people that you want to thank in your book?
  3. Did you add a dedication paragraph in your book?
  4. What about that copyright page, did you add everything that is needed on that page?
  5. Is your ISBN number on the copyright page?
  6. Is your book cover designer cited on your copyright page?
  7. Are your Bible translations cited on your copyright page?
  8. If you used quotes in your book are they cited with the author’s permission? If you do not know if you need the author’s permission, read author’s copyright page.
  9. Did you Goggle and check Amazon to see if other authors have the same name as you?
  10. Is your author name on the book binding?
  11. Enjoy reading proof one! It’s exciting!
  12. Have two to three people read over the proof or even look over the book covering.
  13. Make certain you only have one title page inside the book.
  14. Did you know page numbers begin with the front blank page? Count the blank page, but do not number them.
  15. It takes time for books to be shipped. Watch out for the holidays as that causes delays.
  16. Surrender to God’s timing when your book is to be released.
  17. Watch for tech issues. PDF’s and Word Docs can have issues during the final days of editing. It’s like they know you want to hurry up and get done!
  18. Watch for spacing on pages and images in the final proof.
  19. Did you know some images can get skewed and changed up in a book format?
  20. Margins can move too in a book format, so check that out in a PDF and in the final proof.
  21. Every author wants their book clean, but some spelling errors, missed letters, or even a word left out sneak by even the best editors. Do your best! Then let your baby go!
  22. Be on guard if your book deals with the Truth of God’s Word. You’re in spiritual warfare, Eph. 6:10-20
  23. While you wait for the first box of books to arrive to your home keep penning and or prepping for the book release.
  24. Gather folders, stamps, marketing material, and addresses to prepare for the book launch.
  25. Once that final product arrives, send out your free books to your influencers so they can rejoice with you, read your book, and push you out into their world.

 

Then do cartwheels, you did it!

Congratulations!

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Back Cover Copy for Enable me, Lord, to Shift

Has your smile faded? Are you doing a battle beneath your masked smile? Serving in the name of Jesus, yet you live with doubt, fear, and anxiety only multiples. Your life is not making sense and you have many questions that are not being answered. Where do you turn?

I know these feelings. I lived in a deceptive war zone and wrestled with many questions to God, Are you relevant to meet my needs today?” “Is it worth my time and effort to pick up a Bible?”  “Does Scripture speak to the pain I’m facing?” Enable Me, Lord, to Shift, is based on the principles I learned while living in an emotional abusive marriage. Doubt is a real weapon of the enemy still today. And I began to believe lies about myself and that I had no reason to live. But, I chose to turn to the Word of God daily to stay alive and to shift into Truth—to live!

In order to change, we must look at our life and evaluate it to the Word of God.

  • Enable Me, Lord, to Shift, is an inspirational coaching devotional to teach women how to sow the Word of God to their heart, one verse at a time to shift into truth and experience transformational living.
  • Enable Me, Lord, to Shift, teaches a model of healthy enabling. Jesus is the enabler for freedom living, teaching us how growth can occur from the inside out, and offering His followers real life.
  • Enable Me, Lord, to Shift, offers a daily inspirational story that teaches a woman how to apply the verse to her life.
  • Enable Me, Lord, to Shift, contains a self-assessment report card for each domain book. This offers the reader the opportunity to take an inventory of her life and then examine where she needs to grow.
  • Enable Me, Lord, to Shift, offers coaching questions in each daily devotional, which allows readers to expose their current method of doing life. Then they discover where the gap is and plan a step to shift into Truth—and live!

 

Darlene Alene Larson is a Professional Certified Life Coach and founder of Hearts with a Purpose, coaching and inspiring women to live out their life purpose. She holds certifications as a Life Purpose Coach®, Grief-Loss Coach, Recovery Coach, and a Life Coach Instructor. She is a speaker for women events. Her books, coaching material, and contact info can be found at www.Heartswithapurpose.com. She and her husband, Bill, reside in mid-Michigan.

Darlene's logo

 

Sign up now – Hearts with a Purpose Newsletter

Connect with Darlene on FB at  Hearts with a Purpose

Author. Coach. Speaker. Teacher.

Coaching Speciality: Coaching women in toxicity to freedom to discover their life purpose.

Author of the Enable me, Lord, to Shift 31 day devotional series for Women.

Professional Certified Life Coach

Life Purpose Coach®, Recovery Coach, Grief-loss Coach

Strategic 2-Day LifePlan Coach

Instructor for LPCCI® Coaching Certification

616.824.1311(cell)

www.heartswithapurpose.com

All you Indie published authors out there share some of your tips with us. Have you run into some these same problems?

 

Spies, Flutes, and Red-Heads: The Makings of a Spy Novel

Welcome mystery writer extraordinaire, Carole Brown. I’m so excited to have her as my guest because the second book in her WW II mystery series The Spies of World War II, A Flute In A Willow is now available. She’s agreed to share a bit about how she does  her research and developed her characters and plot for the seriesDSCN4465 (3)

 

Spies:

Developing my WWII Spies series came from two things:

  • Listening to my mother talk about her life during WWII and seeing the pictures she had
  • A short story about a “supposed” civilian spy during WWII from an elderly man. Rumors had it that HE was that spy, but he neither confirmed nor denied it.

Music:

And since dangers and sacrifices abound in WWII stories—some of which I brought out in these books, I also wanted to create a sense of fun, warmth and love to lighten the suspense. One way I managed to create the feeling was to bring music into the story as a subplot.

The Red-headed Sisters:

I’d already planned to feature three red-haired sisters in their own books. It was fun to create their personalities and who the heroes would be. Fortunately, while I wrote book one, the heroes for the other two books appeared and were good matches for sisters two and three.

Let me share brief thoughts how the spies, music and sisters all work together to make this series heartwarming and suspenseful books.

With Music in Their Hearts

With Music in Their Hearts

With my interest piqued and imagination soaring, I settled on the plot for book one where the hero—handsome, smart, a minister and godly—is rejected to serve overseas but recruited to serve as a civilian spy. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between him and the heroine as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up.

Emma Jaine Rayner, by her own claims, is a non-professional pianist, who entertains and gives an extra doze of homeyness to the boarding house residents with the nightly musical fests. Her active imagination while playing, increases her longing for a man to love—and Tyrell Walker, the civilian spy, increases the pressure by wooing her with his trained voice.

AFitW 5th image(2)

 

A Flute in the Willows

In Book Two, the heroine and hero are both rebels in their own way. She has two loves—her skating and Jerry, her husband, an overseas U.S. spy. But when he returns home looking like a skeleton trying to return to life, she’s scared. What happened in Germany to change a man so much? When his wife’s life is threatened, Jerry realizes he can’t stand by and do nothing. Jerry has to risk all for the very soul and life of himself—Josie. These two damaged, rebellious people learn the hard way that leaning on God instead of their ownselves and abilities is the only true way to love and happiness.

Josephine Rayner Patterson, the second sister, is quite different from her older sister. She’s athletic and training for the Olympics once it’s resumed after the war. But returning to her flute after a drastic alteration in her life, it’s the balm that heals her troubled heart. In spite of resisting, Jerry Patterson through her music and enduring love, finds his heart strangely drawn to what he’s never experienced before.

Sing Until You Die

The third book in this series has a tentative publishing date of 2019. The youngest sister of the WWII Spies sister overhears a private conversation while singing to the military troops and realizes it’s vital information to the well being of the United States. When she’s almost discovered, Claire barely escapes. Surrounded by zealous people she can’t and won’t trust, Claire has no options but to trust the one person she most disdains, the one person she ran from, quiet, plugging-along Wills but rumored to be the best spy serving on U.S. soil. In the midst of danger, Wills has the chance of a lifetime: to show the love of his life his love for her. Will she learn that God is her strength and wisdom and that no matter how well she can sing, how far she travels, how many men she meets, only Wills can fill the void in her heart?

Claire Roseanne Rayner is the princess of the family, the petted and beloved daughter of the Rayner Family who sings like a bird and is determined to fly away like one too. She loves God but staying away from the boy-turned-man she grew up with is never far from her mind. William (Wills) Mason has never wavered in his love for Claire Rayner. In spite of having no talent in either singing or playing, he’s fully behind Claire’s musical ambitions.

More:

Spies

Researching the spies was an eye-opening experience. Not only danger is involved, but there are tons of reasons why men—and women—serve in such a capacity. The rewards are vast—money, esteem, the parties and socializing, exotic countries—if all goes as hoped and the spy escapes detection. Caught—prison and death can be the result.

Music

It was easy to include this in these books because of my own love of music. The decision as to what or how it was brought into each book was also a fairly easy decision. Music has so many benefits besides lightening up suspense books.

  • Encouragement
  • Mood enhancers
  • Spiritual uplifter
  • Good music is healthy

and so much more.

One tidbit before I move on to the sisters. I love most instruments, but the flute was not one of them—until I heard one played by an expert. That changed my ideas about flutes, and from then on, I’ve been a devoted fan. The flute seemed the perfect instrument to include in atheletic Josie’s life.

Red-headed Sisters

I’ve always loved red hair. It’s so vibrant, rich in color and alluring. Studying and researching the subject I realized how many different shades of red there are. Choosing the shades was fun, but I wanted it to be more than fun. The shades needed to match their personalities.

All in all, the first two books have been a delight to write, and I’m looking forward to the writing the third book soon.

 

Thanks for allowing me to visit, Cindy.

Absolutely loved having you.  You are always a delightful guest. Thanks for making the time.  If you’d like to learn more about Carole and her latest novel read on.

Back Cover Blurb for Flute in the Willows

Both rebels in their own way, Josie and Jerry Patterson must figure out how to keep the other’s love…and keep the German enemy at bay.

She has two loves—her skating and Jerry, her husband. But when he returns home looking like a skeleton trying to return to life, she’s scared. What happened in Germany to change a man so much? Has another woman captured his heart?

Jerry has vowed to let Josie live her own glamourous life…especially after what happened in Germany. But when his wife’s life is threatened, Jerry realizes he can’t stand by and do nothing. Jerry has to risk all for the very soul and life of himself—Josie.

These two damaged, rebellious people learn the hard way that leaning on God instead of their own selves and abilities is the only true way to love and happiness.

Buy the Book:

https://www.amazon.com/Carole-Brown/e/B00EZV4RFY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1492661357&sr=1-1

About Carole Brown:

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleBrown.author

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Carole-Brown/e/B00EZV4RFY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427898838&sr=8-1

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/browncarole212

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carole-brown

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sunnywrtr/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5237997-carole-brown

Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=67381031

Google+:    https://plus.google.com/u/0/113068871986311965415/posts

Stitches in Time:  http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/

Question for readers from Carole:

How much research detail do you like when reading a book? Is there ever too much or not quite enough to suit you?

 

I loved learning how Carole did her research and built her story world.  I strive to give my readers helpful information and writing tools. If you enjoyed this peek into the research side of the writing world sign up for this blog before you leave and receive more interesting and fun posts in your email.

 

 

Meet Author John Theo Jr.

Today I welcome prolific  writer, John Theo  Jr. to Jubilee Writer. He’s going to talk about his latest release and the writing life. First, John tell us briefly about your writing journey.1

I started writing for fun in high school but did not take it seriously until after college. I worked on my own craft for a few years before entering graduate school where I received an MFA in creative writing. Since then I’ve published in non-fiction (magazines), taught writing at the college level, and had six fiction books published. My books vary as much as my interests. From young adult fantasy, murder mystery, government conspiracy, to dystopian sci fi.

Sounds like you have many genres you love and a vivid imagination. What’s your latest published project.

My latest release is Mission Trip, Genesis and Exodus. It is a sequel to 2016’s Mission Trip. To accompany the launch I’ve published a prequel novella, Clarke. Both are available online or at WWW.JOHNTHEO.COM

I’m always curious how authors do their research for their stories. How do you do yours

Writers have always been told to “write about what you know”. I know sci fi quite well as I spent many years of my childhood reading comics and watching sci fi movies. I utilized every “nerd molecule” of my being on this tale. Even though the book is set in the distant future I utilized a lot of current events. Science fiction is notorious for taking current events and placing them into a futuristic setting. One of the first (and arguably most famous) interracial kisses on TV was done in 1968 on an episode of Star Trek. At the time the culture barely noticed as it was technically “500 years” in the future.

Every story starts as a germ of inspiration. What inspired you to write your book?

Over the past decade Christians have become the most persecuted class of people on the planet (according to PEW research). US Christians are starting to see this persecution trickle in. For example, legal persecution of believers in the US has evolved into numerous church shootings. This got me thinking about the Pilgrims and their reason for leaving Europe in the 1600s to flee to the new world. Mission Trip is a “what if” story. What level of persecution would it take for Christians to flee the US, and where would they go? At its core, Mission Trip is a futuristic retelling of the Pilgrims story.

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Fascinating. I love the premise. A bold challenge to people of faith.  Now let’s move away from your book and ask when did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

I always had a creative side, but didn’t realized I wanted to tell stories until I was leaving high school and came to the conclusion I wasn’t passionate about much else.

Passion is a wonderful motivator for a writer. I always like to ask those who visit my blog what scripture resonates with them. What is yours?

A favorite life verse for me over the past few years has been Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

I have been through a lot of life changes over the past few years (mostly bad), which God has used for good in miraculous ways.

The verse in my novel that resonates with me the most is line at the end when the protagonist (Landon) realizes God performed miracles to save Landon’s son, but did not spare His own son. At this point Landon’s “arc” is complete and he has healed from his past trauma.

He had not spared His only son, but made a point to spare Landon’s. It was as if Landon fully understood the cross of Christ for the first time.”

Love the insight. John, if you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

There is a lot I would tell a younger version of myself about life, but as far as the craft of writing it would be one simple thing….find a mentor. This is so important, and could shave years off someone’s learning curve.

Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?

Ironically, no one in my life is a writer so no one really understands what it’s like to be a writer. Long story short, I am very self-motivated.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

As of today, I would say non-fiction. I never thought I’d migrate from action, and sci fi books into non- fiction but I’ve become a huge fan of US History, especially old historical books for young adults.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I’d love to say at my desk at home sipping a cup of tea as the snow falls outside the window, but I have three energetic kids under the age of eight, so that romantic notion doesn’t exist. They are my “lovable efficiency killers”. I would say at work. My wife and I moved out of the hectic northeast to buy a small business down south allowing us to be together as a family more. The burst of small time I have in between customers forces me to by hyper focused. Some writers need three hour long windows to write in. Mission Trip, Genesis and Exodus was literally written in twenty minute increments.

 You are certainly driven to get words on paper. Bravo for you.

Tell us about your screenplays and other writing projects.

I’ve written multiple screenplays, but currently I’m marketing only two of them with my agent Pierre Rumpf.

Nicky and the Saint, A Christmas Story is a screenplay about the historic Saint Nicholas and a modern-day boy named Nicky, and how their symbiotic “hero’s journey’s” overlap. The trailer (or sizzle reel) is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMePOl_KK_Q&list=PLSogEOVpzTJHtXpPlfUJCNiO2Rs7a0Bnv&index=32

Christmas by The Sea is a straight up Hallmark Channel-esque romance set in a quaint New England seaside town. Unlike other made-for-television Christmas movies I instilled some comedy, and even a little action to broaden the audience base. The sizzle reel is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUtYScVghpI&list=PLSogEOVpzTJHtXpPlfUJCNiO2Rs7a0Bnv&index=2

Christmas seems to be a theme in a lot of my writing. I guess it’s the kid in me.

SERIES: This is the sequel to “Mission Trip”, Clean Reads Press 2016.

PURCHASE: https://www.amazon.com/Mission-Trip-John-Theo-Jr-ebook/dp/B078TCD3T8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515422663&sr=8-1&keywords=mission+trip%2C+Genesis+and+exodus

BOOK TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1LBjsWLBbY

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_tXTp-mEENYHe2Ex3LJeXg

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/search?q=john%20theo&src=typd

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=579062130

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

John Theo, Jr. has published numerous articles in New England based newspapers and magazines, and has taught screenwriting at the college level. Mission Trip, Genesis and Exodus is his fifth fiction novel and the sequel to 2016’s Mission Trip (Clean Reads Press). John holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA. For more information on John check out http://www.johntheo.com.

More About John’s novel Mission Trip, Gensis And Exodus

TAG LINE:

Can an imprisoned son and a redeemed technocrat rescue humanity.

BACK COVER BLURB:

Mission Trip, Genesis and Exodus is the sequel to Mission Trip. In 2077 doctor Kyle Faison remains trapped on the west coast of New America with a group of villagers he came to help. His father, Landon, races from their hidden underwater city to rescue his son. When Kyle goes missing Landon tracks him to the city of New Sacramento, where a charismatic leader holds him captive. Landon must find a way past an army of soldiers to reach Kyle before the onset of another nuclear war.

The origin of the underwater city known as the Atoll is revealed in a prequel flashback woven throughout the story.  In 2040, technocrat Josiah Saunders has wealth and power and invests much of his resources into life extension technology. He ruins countless lives trying to reach this goal. The combination of a hostile takeover by his competitor, and a failed assassination attempt, send Josiah fleeing into the subway system of New York where he is attacked and left for dead. The narcissistic man soon realizes God has other plans for him, but first he must be broken and rebuilt as a new creature.

 

BOOK EXCERPT:

The next morning, an explosion woke Josiah from his light sleep. The building moved slightly.

“Open daylight,” he said, throwing aside the silk sheets.

The tinted windows in the penthouse bedroom cleared, revealing the gray early morning skyline of New York. Nothing looked different. Had he dreamed of the explosion? A moment later, flaming debris flittered down outside the windows. Josiah’s stomach dropped, as if following the debris toward the street below.

The speaker on his data pad chirped. “Coming up to get you.” It was Ross. “We’re under attack. This isn’t a drill.”

Josiah panicked for a moment before he remembered all the reinforcements and safety measures the building had. It would withstand multiple attacks from a varied assortment of artillery and biological warfare. But why hadn’t the alarms kicked in? He threw on a pair of dress pants, shoes, and a sweater, and grabbed his tablet. He wasn’t going to wait for Ross. Before Josiah left the apartment, he glanced one last time out the living room window. There were two sparks of light a few miles in the distance. Trails of smoke followed the flashes through the early morning skyline.

The tablet in his hand spoke in a calm male voice. “Warning. Incoming rockets.

Wow! You’ve got my attention. Thanks for being my guest today, John. Those who love dystopic novels are going to love this one.

Reader, if this is your first time visiting Jubilee Writer and you’d like to read more interviews and writerly things, please subscribe before you leave and it will be delivered to your email as new posts appear.

 

 

History Trivia: Moving A Community

During my research for my historical novels, I find some interesting if not odd stuff. In my next few blogs, I’ll share some of my findings. Today, I’ll share the surprising information I found about home moving. When I think of moving, I visualize packing everything up and moving to a new home. I stumbled across a few interesting facts about home moving. I mean picking up the home and moving it, not relocating.  Not only did an occasional resident decide to move their home across town, but also during the 19th century whole communities packed up everything, including their houses and relocated the town to a better spot. Possibly to be further away from a flooding river or closer to the railroad.

house moving 2

These were not mobile homes, or the tent cities often erected for miners, but cabins and framed homes. Some were taken apart log by log. The disassembled parts hauled in by wagon, train or boat and reassembled in the new location. Some homes, and here is the fascinating part, were placed on flat bed wagons and a team of mules hauled the house to its new location. Others were pushed along a log conveyor. As the house passed over one log it was picked up and a runner took it to the front of the long line of logs. The logs turned under the motion of the home being pulled by a team of horses. This continued for miles until the house was at its new location.  This was no small undertaking.

 

Moving a house in San Francisco, 1908

Thisisa home being moved in 1901.

 

My mind envisions small cabins. But as you can see by the pictures, some buildings were quite large. The one advantage over modern day house moving, there was no electricity or plumbing to disconnect. Even so I can’t imagine how moving your house was more economical than selling and rebuilding.

This whole revelation made me wonder what kind of story could revolve around moving an entire town.

Readers, give me some ideas of what kind of story could be set amid a town’s relocation.