OVER MAYA DEAD BODY–A Book Review

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OK so as a writer of suspense and mystery novels, I LOVE THIS TITLE!  I mean really, how cute is OVER MAYA DEAD BODY? It’s one of those times when I say to myself, why didn’t I think of that.  Anyway…Over Maya Dead Body by Sandra Orchard is the continuing saga of FBI agent, Serena Jones. I read and reviewed ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER DALI last year. Yes, another cute title!

I enjoyed Another Day, Another Dali so I decided to read and review Over Maya Dead Body and… drumroll please…I loved this one even more! Lots of suspense and action as well as just enough romance to keep my attention. This book kept me guessing–almost to the end. I definitely recommend this one if you love suspense, romance, and a little comedy thrown in for good measure!

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

PUBLIC SPEAKING–YIKES!

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3 WAYS TO OVERCOME THE FEAR!

I read somewhere that fear of public speaking is the most common fear–more people are afraid of public speaking than of dying! That’s sort of crazy but that’s what I read. Whether it’s true or not, I’m not sure but what is true is that lots of people hate the thought of public speaking. That certainly was true in my case.

When my first book was published I discovered that public speaking is part of being an author. YIKES! Not a good thing as far as I was concerned. After a few miserable attempts–at least miserable on my part–the audience seemed to enjoy the experience, I came to a conclusion. If I was going to be an author I had to learn to deal with public speaking in a calmer, less stressful way.  Or quit writing books. And since I loved writing stories, I had to figure out a way to overcome my fear so I did. Here are 3 things I did to overcome the fear of public speaking.

  1. BE PREPARED. Have a plan. I developed a few different themes to talk about and then wrote out the actual speech, then I would read it and read it again–several times. Sometimes I would actually take a binder up with me and use it to keep me on track. As I became more comfortable, I moved to index cards with the main ideas.
  2. TRUST YOUR AUDIENCE. The audience is not your enemy! They aren’t waiting for you to make a mistake so they can attack you. They came to hear you. They’re on your side. One thing I started telling my audience is that I didn’t like public speaking so to be patient with me if I fumbled the ball a bit now and then. Then if I made a mistake, I’d remind them I’m a writer not a speaker. That usually got a few chuckles and relaxed me and the audience.
  3. IT’S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE. Even though my day job was a speech pathologist (therapist), I also considered myself a teacher. And what does a teacher do? They talk and talk and talk. At some point when I was panicking about my next public speaking event, I asked myself, ‘What am I so worried about? I’m a teacher and talking is part of what I do every day.’ After that I started thinking about my speaking events as a teaching event and that made all the difference for me. You may not be a teacher but I’m sure there’s a different way for everyone to look at the speaking event so that you can be more comfortable having to do it.

So after reading this wonderful advice, you may have the idea that I do public speaking all the time, right? Wrong. I had become much more comfortable and was expanding my speaking engagements when I was diagnosed with my brain tumors. After having to cancel two major speaking events because of my physical health, I stopped booking speaking events but… I’m feeling so much better now, I might just give it a whirl again.

YOUR TURN: What tips can you share about public speaking?

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

Poetry Class-Louisa May Alcott

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But I thought Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women? She did but she was also a poet. Who knew? I think you’ll agree that she led quite an interesting life as you read about her.

 

Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832 and is best known as the author of Little Women.  She also grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the day such as  Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathanial Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau. No wonder she became a writer!

 

Alcott was an abolitionist as well as a and remained unmarried throughout her life. In 1847, she and her family were part of the Underground Railroad when they housed a fugitive slave for a week.

When the Civil War broke out, she served as a nurse for six weeks in 1862.  She intended to serve three months as a nurse, but halfway through she contracted typhoid and became deathly ill, though she recovered.

Alcott suffered chronic health problems in her later years. She believed they were due to mercury poisoning that was part of her treatment of the typhoid fever.  However recent analysis suggests it may have been associated with an autoimmune disease. A portrait of Alcott shows a rash on her cheeks with is a characteristic of lupus. Alcott died of a stroke on March 6, 1888 at the age of 55.
As far as her poetry goes, I found a large quantity of them. Here are two examples.
A Little Bird Am I
And in my cage I sit and sing
To Him who placed me there:
Well pleased a prisoner to be,
Because, my God, it pleases Thee!
“Naught have I else to do;
I sing the whole day long;
And He whom most I love to please
Doth listen to my song,
He caught and bound my wandering wing,
But still He bends to hear me sing.”
The Fairy Song
The tale is told, the song is sung,
And the Fairy feast is done.
The night-wind rocks the sleeping flowers,
And sings to them, soft and low.
The early birds erelong will wake:
‘T is time for the Elves to go.
O’er the sleeping earth we silently pass,
Unseen by mortal eye,
And send sweet dreams, as we lightly float
Through the quiet moonlit sky;–
For the stars’ soft eyes alone may see,
And the flowers alone may know,
The feasts we hold, the tales we tell;
So’t is time for the Elves to go.
From bird, and blossom, and bee,
We learn the lessons they teach;
And seek, by kindly deeds, to win
A loving friend in each.
And though unseen on earth we dwell,
Sweet voices whisper low,
And gentle hearts most joyously greet
The Elves where’er they go.
When next we meet in the Fairy dell,
May the silver moon’s soft light
Shine then on faces gay as now,
And Elfin hearts as light.
Now spread each wing, for the eastern sky
With sunlight soon shall glow.
The morning star shall light us home:
Farewell! for the Elves must go.
I found her poetry to be sweet and easy to understand. Definitely enjoyed them What about you?
God Bless & Good Reading!

Friday Friend–Clare Revell

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Clare Revell is my Friday Friend and is a British author. She lives in a small town just outside Reading, England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, their three children, and unfriendly mini-panther, aka Tilly the black cat. Clare is half English and half Welsh, which makes watching rugby interesting at times as it doesn’t matter who wins.

Writing from an early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fan fiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children’s stories. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, crocheting or doing the many piles of laundry the occupants of her house manage to make.

Her books are based in the UK, with a couple of exceptions, thus, although the spelling may be American in some of them, the books contain British language and terminology and the more recent ones are written in UK English. You can contact her on Facebook or her Blog .

 

Here’s the blurb for her latest book, ALL THAT GLITTERS.

Blurb:

Gold medalist, Peter Stanmore has returned home a broken man and intends to put the past behind him. But love isn’t so easily repressed, and second chances are rare.

Jill Davenport has given up any hope of marriage and a life of her own, after all, years ago, she lost the only man she ever loved. But the truth is impossible to hide.

When secrets are revealed, decisions must be made in spite of the consequences. Can what was once lost be found, or is love destined to remain forever lost?

 

Poetry Class–Emily Dickenson

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Poetry Class is now in session! Why you might ask? I say why not. From time to time I’ll post a bio of a poet and hopefully inspire you to read a poem or two. This week’s poet is Emily Dickenson.

 

Emily Dickenson was born on December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts and is recognized as one of the most important American poets of the 1800s. Considered an eccentric by locals, she became known for her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, to even leave her bedroom. Dickinson never married, and most friendships between her and others depended entirely upon correspondence.

Less than a dozen of her nearly 1,800 poems were published during her lifetime. Dickinson’s poems are unique for the era in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends.

Although Dickinson’s acquaintances were most likely aware of her writing, it was not until after her death in 1886—when Lavinia, Dickinson’s younger sister, discovered her most of her poems.

Success is counted sweetest

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.
Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of victory
As he defeated – dying –
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!

YOUR TURN: Any thoughts about Emily or her poetry?

God Bless & Good Reading!

Friday Friend–Barbara Ann Derksen

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Barbara Ann Derksen is my Friday Friend and she’s been gracious enough to do a giveaway for REDEMPTIVE JUSTICE. Details at the end of this post.

Seeking to encourage, inspire, and invite, Barbara Ann Derksen writes about Kingdom living characters who live in a not-so Kingdom world. She has been scrambling letters into enjoyable fiction and non-fiction for over 20 years and a published writer since 2003. Her readers share how the books are hard to put down, keep them up at night reading long after lights out, and spur them on to a closer walk with their Lord.

Her favorite genre is mystery so, to thrill her readers, she composes a new one every year, She has just completed the four book series, The Wilton Strait Mystery Series, now available through her website, on Amazon in Canada, Europe, and the US, and through Amazon’s Kindle store as e-books as well as Smashwords for e-book readers other than Kindle. Vanished, Presumed Dead, Fear Not, and Silence are a series that provides hours of entertainment, food for thought, and keep her readers wanting more. The first book in the Finders Keepers Series, Shadow Stalker,  was released May 5, 2013 and is available on Amazon http://amzn.to/13pABhF. with mostly 5 star reviews. In 2014, Book 2, Essence of Evil made its appearance with mostly five star reviews and now the sequel, Wicked Disregard, released February 2016 is making its debut. The 4th book in this series, Redemptive Justice, is a new release May 2017B

Barbara Ann Derksen has written 20 books, mystery, children’s and devotions. She and her husband, Henry, have been married for 48 years, have four children, and eleven grandchildren. Henry is a singer/songwriter with 8 CDs to his name, working on his 9th.

Back Cover Blurb for REDEMPTIVE JUSTICE

What happens when truth is perverted to suit the circumstances? Christine Smith, owner of Finders Keepers Investigative Services, and Jeremy Goodman, owner of Goodman Investigations, discover the answer when they decide to help a woman recover her children from a Mennonite village in Mexico. Drug running and human trafficking are justified by Church Elders who place money and control above the people they are supposed to lead. Christine’s new faith explores the contradictions in the search for Redemptive Justice.

GIVEAWAY INFO:

To enter to win a copy of Redemptive Justice, go to Barbara Ann’s website at http://www.barbaraannderksen.com and she’ll tell you how to enter to win.

Thanks, Barbara Ann for visiting and for the giveaway!

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

Friday Friend–Sandy Nadeau

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Sandy Nadeau shares her writing journey with us today.

A Long Road Stubbornly Traveled

It’s been nearly twenty years since I wrote my first book. To this day, it still sits in a drawer. There’s several reasons why, but the main one shall be my confession of the day. I hope it will help you as a writer to not make these kinds of mistakes. It is a romantic mystery set in Norway. I wanted to write something that went back to my family history. With great-grandparents by the names of Ole Olson and Nicolena Sven (I’m not kidding), my Norwegian heritage fascinates me. So why not write a book with it interwoven throughout.

I worked hard on it, researching with this new internet thing to find all things Norway. Lots of books, encyclopedias, whatever I could find. I had always prayed to finish writing a whole book. And I did. (I’ve since advanced that prayer to say finish a book and get it published! Details.) I submitted that first book to every publisher I could find. Back in the day, you had to print out pages and pages of your hard work, stick it in a large envelope and MAIL it. With a self-addressed stamped envelope known as a s.a.s.e. I made a chart of where I sent it, when I sent it, when I heard, what I heard. That last column always said the same thing. Rejected.

I did hear some positive feedback, one publisher almost bought it, but one little detail within the story was not plausible in their opinion, so yet another rejection. My biggest error in that first book, was not in what I wrote, but in what I accepted from others “in the know”. When I was told that it would take a lot of editing. I was crushed. Not that I thought I was a flawless writer, but I looked at it as, “I’m an awful writer”.

I met with an agent wayyyyy back then at a conference. He read a little of it, called it fluff and basically dismissed me. I withered into a dark corner and cried. Once the initial pain was gone, I did some rewrites. Another time I met with an author at a conference and she was not nice to me at all. I was crushed again. It’s so hard to take opinion criticism. Constructive would be okay, but when it’s just their opinion…stop doing that. I’ve done a lot of pulling myself up by the proverbial bootstraps over the years. Just remember writers, it will happen.

It comes down to thick skin which breeds determination. Maybe it’s my stubborn Norwegian roots. But it took me years to grow it thick. To understand I had to make it thick. One thing I didn’t understand back in those days, was that editing is only done to improve not to hurt. When we take it as hurt, take it personally, it cripples us and takes away our joy and self-esteem as a writer. Don’t do that. If only we could grow instant thick skin. Spray something on and wah-la! There ought to be a way for those that want to become an author. So the best I can do is tell you to try your best to grow it as soon as you possibly can.

Surprising encouragement can also come along. At yet another conference, (remember that stubborn streak) I met with Tracie Peterson. Once I got over the huge bout of fan girl moments, that I was sitting right there next to THEE Tracie Peterson (I love her and her writing), we talked about my book. She was so encouraging and then the unthinkable happened. She wanted to take the entire manuscript back to the publisher. I believe I skipped for a week.

I wish I could give a happy ending to that, but I can’t. It was rejected. It took a while, but ultimately rejected by the house. So it sits in a drawer, otherwise known as a deeply hidden computer file. I’ve tried reworking it a couple times over the years, but it’s still in hiding.

However, since then, through stubborn determination, a LOT of years (I had a daughter to raise), I learned more, I sought answers, I grew thick skin, I stumbled onto the most amazing editor, I now have two different books not only written but published. I’ve learned how wonderful editors can make a story that you so strongly believe in and I welcome those edits. They have the same purpose. Make this book the best it can be. And even after all these years, I still needed heavy edits.

So grow that skin and love the editors! You can do it. I know that for sure, because I did!

Sandy Nadeau loves to go on adventures, photograph them and equally loves to write about them. She and her husband did a lot of four-wheeling in the back country of Colorado and shared those experiences with others by taking them up in the mountains. Her writing experience includes a community news column in a small newspaper for twelve years, magazine articles and two novels with adventure, mystery, romance, but most importantly sharing God’s love. She is currently a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and has two books out. Married for a whopping 40 years, she and her husband are loving life as grandparents to their three grandchildren after the big move to Texas. Travel is their favorite thing to do and they don’t get to do it as often as they’d like. Adventure awaits around every corner, over every hill and mountain.

 You can connect with Sandy at:  www.SandyNadeau.com or www.SandyNadeau.blogspot.com .

Her latest book is RESCUE ME.

Thanks Sandy for sharing your writing journey with us. I remember those days quite well.

 

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!