Categories
Encouragement Humor

On Reading

C. Kevin Thompson
C. Kevin Thompson

Reading—and the love for it—is not a genetic trait. Parents who read wish it was. However, reading is developed as a love, a passion, or it is shunned just like any other activity. Find me a person who loves to read, and I can find that person’s antithesis who would rather wait for the movie or TV show to come out.

Or just play video games instead. (Maybe “evil twin” is a more apropos term for this character…Just kidding!)

Case in point. I’m a writer. I have three daughters. Two of them like to read. One hates it and does it out of necessity, not enjoyment. All three grew up in the same house, had the same parents—one of them an author in the children’s later years.

The other day, I was at the home of the one who isn’t a reader. She proudly showed me her new bookshelf in their new office area of their new home. On the top shelf sat a copy of all my books, save two (one of them a reprint copy, so we won’t hold that against her). She thought she had them all.

The Letters

She talked about how she recommends them, although she’s never read all of them. She says it with a smile. We understand each other, although I know reading would enhance her life in ways she has yet to experience.

She’s proud of her daddy, and that means a lot. She supports me—her father, the author—whenever she can. But no matter what the book, even my latest novel (and she has read it, by the way, albeit the first pre-publication manuscript), my daughter still smiles and make no bones about her unwillingness to read, even though The Letters was just nominated as a finalist for a prestigious award and came in Second Place is another prestigious award.

Would I love her more if she did read all of them? No. Of course not.

We’d just have more to talk about, that’s all.

 

Kevin Thompson is a former English teacher who believed that if he was going to teach students about writing, he should put his money where his mouth was. Since that time, he has written three award-winning novels and serves now as an assistant principal at a public high school.

Website:                                  www.ckevinthompson.com/

Kevin’s Writer’s Blog:           www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com/

Facebook:                               C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page

Twitter:                                   @CKevinThompson

Instagram:                               ckevinthompson

Pinterest:                                 ckevinthompsonauthor

ACFW Fiction Finder:           https://www.fictionfinder.com/author/detail/595

BookBub:                                C. Kevin Thompson

 

 

 

Categories
Humor Inspiration for Writers Writing craft

Mining For Gold

Miss Wetherham's Wedding
Miss Wetherham’s Wedding

We think of gold primarily as either bullion or jewelry, but the precious metal has many other uses. In the old days, it was used for tooth fillings and even the odd false tooth. Nowadays, uses range from industrial to medical, to agricultural. For instance, gold is used to treat pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. It is liquefied, injected into muscle tissue, and reportedly helpful in 70 percent of cases. 

Writing historical fiction doesn’t only mean researching the time period of the book’s setting. For my newest release, Miss Wetherham’s Wedding, my heroine owns the controlling number of shares in a tunneling gold mining venture that’s gone dry. As I dug up whatever I could find on gold mining, I came across some interesting facts most of us probably aren’t aware of.

Another interesting tidbit is that 10 billion tons of gold circle the world in seawater! Before you start panning, the gold isn’t just floating around in specks or nuggets. In fact, the cost of recovering it unfortunately exceeds its value.  

And here’s something to wrap your brain around:  worldwide, the amount of steel poured in just one hour is more than the amount of gold that’s been extracted in all of recorded history! That’s how rare gold is. 

In my book, Miss Wetherham has neither the money to explore the mine for more gold, or the heart to try it even if she did, for there is danger involved. For these reasons, she finds herself in precarious financial straits–the perfect place to introduce a hero, even if he is, by all report, a rogue. 🙂       

Linore Rose Burkard An award-winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, her first book (Before the Season Ends) opened the genre for the CBA. Besides historical romance, Linore writes contemporary suspense, contemporary romance, and romantic short stories. Linore resides in Ohio with her husband and family, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots. 

Categories
Encouragement Humor Marketing Writing Business

Mistaken Identity, Grateful Heart

Thank you to CAN member and contributor Michelle Medlock Adams for today’s edition of Fascinating Fridays!

I had just finished signing my latest children’s book at the Guideposts Booth at the largest Christian Book Show. To celebrate my signing, my mom and my sister took me to lunch at a beautiful restaurant in downtown Atlanta. As we studied the menu, I couldn’t help but notice a group of women sitting at a nearby table. You know why I noticed them? Because they were all staring at me.

I tried to ignore them, but their staring turned to pointing and whispering. I started feeling a little self-conscious. Just as the waitress brought our food, I watched as one of the ladies slowly walked toward our table.

“I’m sorry to interrupt,” she said, “but I just had to meet you. Your book literally changed my life.”

Categories
Humor Inspiration for Writers

Finding Inspiration in Unlikely Places

People often ask me where I get the inspiration for my stories. The truth is, I never know! Sometimes, it comes from anarticle in a magazine. Other times, it may be an interesting photo, a visit to a museum, or a treasure scooped up at a garage sale. I once got the idea for a historical romance while touring an abandoned silver mine in Calico, California! But one thing I can say for certain—the best ideas have always come from personal experience. That includes the inspiration for my latest mystery, Dairy Disaster, part of the Mysteries of Lancaster County series from Guideposts Publications.

I was very fortunate to have knowledgeable friends I could reach out to when researching this story. My childhood was spent in a very rural corner of Michigan, a fertile land ripe with fruit orchards and dairy farms. Though many of the circumstances were very different from those in my book, the staff at Country Dairy in Shelby, Michigan, were a huge help in getting some of the facts straight regarding the processing of milk and I am very thankful for their willingness to share information. For example, did you know that a cow’s diet can affect what the milk on your table tastes like? Or thatall females are called heifers until their first pregnancy? After birth they become “cows” and must be bred every year to continue producing milk.

Country Dairy is a family owned business whose history stretches as far back as the 1880’s. Today, the business employs about 125 people in the production of cheese, milk, ice cream and other dairy related products. In 2004, they opened their first retail store on the farm—an interesting tidbit that I incorporated into the writing of my story. Country Dairy’s Farm Store and Moo School have become field trip destinations for school children and a tourist stop for guests from around the world. If you’d like to learn more, please visit https://www.countrydairy.com/ and schedule a tour. Tell them I sent you.

 

Elizabeth Ludwig
Elizabeth Ludwig

Elizabeth Ludwig is a USA Today bestselling author and speaker. Besides writing, she enjoys skiing, cooking, and curling up with a good book. Recently, she was honored to be named a double finalist in the 2020 Selah Awards, one for Garage Sale Secrets, part of the of Lancaster County series from Guideposts and the second for her contribution to The Coffee Club Mysteries collection from Barbour Publishing. To learn more, visit ElizabethLudwig.com.

Categories
Humor Inspiration for Writers

The Story Behind the Story of. . . A Pink Lady Thanksgiving

It’s 1879, and the Oregon Trail is still ferrying emigrants west to California, Oregon, and Washington. Hundreds of covered wagon trains with thousands of people every year, all searching for something better than they left behind.

The first book, Kate, is a tale of adventure and love filled with secrets, threats, and narrow escapes as Kate and Tom head for Oregon City.

Now, they’ve safely put their past behind them. Or have they? Kate realizes her dream of working for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, and her first assignment is to find a local missing woman. When she begins investigating, however, she is threatened and their house is set ablaze, then her son is kidnapped.

The basis for this book came from an article I read about an unsolved stagecoach robbery in 1878 in Deadwood, South Dakota. The robbers were all caught and hung, and all the gold dust, gold nuggets, and the gold ingots from the Homestake Mine were recovered, except for a gigantic five-pound gold brick. I started asking those pesky what if questions, and. . .

Then I read about Kate Warne, the first Pink Lady detective.  As a young widow in the 1850s, she marched into the Pinkterton office and said she wanted a job. Alan Pinkerton thought she meant a clerical job, but no. Kate wanted to be a detective. And she turned out to be one of his best “men”, paving the way for many more female detectives in the coming years.

Kate Warne was a feisty woman with definite ideas of how she wanted her life to go, and so is my Kate. While Kate Warne never remarried, I wanted my Kate to balance family and a professional career, a relatively new concept in the 1870s.

Watch for more books featuring Kate and Tom in the future, but for now, check out the first two adventures and my other books at https://www.amazon.com/s?k=donna+schlachter&ref=nb_sb_noss 

Donna Schlachter:aka Leeann Betts
Donna Schlachter

Donna writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas, full-length novels, and non-fiction books. She is a member of ACFW, Writers on the Rock, SinC, Pikes Peak Writers, and CAN; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

 

Categories
Humor New Releases

An A-Muse-ing 2021 Wall Calendar Available Now!

An A-Muse-ing 2021 Calendar based on cat comedy sketches between Muse and Writer
An A-Muse-ing 2021 Calendar based on cat comedy with Muse and Writer a.k.a Angela Breidenbach. Order yours at AngelaBreidenbach.com

An A-Muse-ing 2021 Calendar

Series: A-Muse-ings, Calendar/Book 1

Author: Angela Breidenbach

ISBN: 978-0-9980847-1-8

Publisher: Gems Books

Calendar/Cat/breeds/Humor & Comic Calendars

Description:

An A-Muse-ing 2021 Wall Calendar by Angela Breidenbach features the wry wit and humor between Muse and Writer. Sure to delight your entire family creating smiles and laughter all year long. 

Each month Muse matches wits with Writer in full-color wall calendar showcasing a candid, beautiful image of Muse and his highly expressive fe-lion personality that came from fun social media posts like this one:

Muse and Writer cat comedy developed from candid photos of fe-lion antics told on social media.
Muse and Writer cat comedy developed from candid photos of fe-lion antics told on social media.

Writer: Weren’t you on the other side of the sofa?

Muse: Just checking out my comfort level.

Writer: Great. If you’re all settled, I’ll join you.

Muse: That’s outside of my comfort level.

Writer: (Facepalm.) Oh, brother.

 

 

 

For you, it includes:

  • 12-month calendar
  • Space to add reminders
  • Opens to 11 inches x 17 inches
  • Includes widely celebrated holidays (including International Cat Day, of course)
  • Tips to lesson holiday season stress
  • Laughter
  • Each calendar is personally autographed

A few of the monthly humor pages in full color, click each for a larger view:

Look for more A-Muse-ings from Muse and Writer including Christmas planners, social media, and themed books at AngelaBreidenbach.com. Other books by Angela include historical romance, contemporary romance, and non-fiction.

Visit AngelaBreidenbach.com for A-Muse-ing News direct to your email. Follow @AngBreidenbach on your favorite social media like Bookbub, Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, & Amazon for new release announcements.

Watch for An A-Muse-ing Christmas Planner 2021 and A-Muse-ing Tails coming in 2021!

Muse and Writer bring you fun Fe-lion Fan Family gear to create smiles wherever you go. Choose something fun and spread the laughter with A-Muse-ing treats from Muse and Writer for everyone.

Who are Muse and Writer?

Muse and Writer a.k.a Angela Breidenbach and her fe-lion personal assistant, Muse create A-Muse-ings on social media and now a new line of cat comedy products at AngelaBreidenbach.com
Muse and Writer a.k.a Angela Breidenbach and her fe-lion personal assistant, Muse create A-Muse-ings on social media and now a new line of cat comedy products at AngelaBreidenbach.com

Writer’s Bio: Angela Breidenbach is a bestselling author, screenwriter, and genealogist. Hobbies? Writer has trained her Muse, a fe-lion, to shake hands, roll over, and jump through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angela can also. Muse has managed to entertain friends and followers on social media with his wry wit and humor. All social media including Facebook/Instagram/MeWe/Twitter @AngBreidenbach

Muse’s Bio: A highly trained fe-lion personal assistant to Writer, he’s a Somali-Cross rescue. At nine, he has many years left to train Writer in the ways of fe-lions. Able to leap tall sticks in a single bound, lunge through hoops, and stop-drop-and-roll, Muse will either high-five you or shake hands as long as you pay him in treats. He’s quite mercenary, but very lovable. He creates laughter in his Fe-lion Fan Family and loves to stymy his Writer daily. He takes over Writer’s social media just to cause chaos.

 

 

Categories
Humor New Releases

An A-Muse-ing 2021 Calendar — cat comedy

Eye-catching cat comedy shines in this new release of An A-Muse-ing 2021 Calendar based on the witty humor of Muse and Writer on social media. Get your autographed (by both Muse and Writer) copy at AngelaBreidenbach.com

An A-Muse-ing 2021 Calendar by Writer and Muse (Angela Breidenbach) Humorous 12-month wall calendar
An A-Muse-ing 2021 Calendar by Writer and Muse (Angela Breidenbach) Humorous 12-month wall calendar

An A-Muse-ing 2021 Wall Calendar by Angela Breidenbach features the wry wit and humor between Muse and Writer.  Each month Muse matches wits with Writer in full-color wall calendar showcasing a candid, beautiful image of Muse and his highly expressive fe-lion personality: For you, it includes:

  • 12-month calendar
  • Space to add reminders
  • Opens to 11 inches x 17 inches
  • Includes widely celebrated holidays (including International Cat Day, of course)
  • Tips to lesson holiday season stress
  • Laughter

Look for more A-Muse-ings from Muse and Writer including Christmas planners, social media, and themed books at AngelaBreidenbach.com. Other books by Angela include historical romance, contemporary romance, and non-fiction. Visit AngelaBreidenbach.com for A-Muse-ing News direct to your email. Follow @AngBreidenbach on your favorite social media like Bookbub, Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, & Amazon for new release announcements.

Pick up a few copies as gifts to see the laughter and sparkle your present creates.

Visit https://AngelaBreidenbach.com today for autographed copies.

Bio: Angela Breidenbach is a bestselling author, screenwriter, and genealogist. She’s the president of the Christian Authors Network. Hobbies? Writer has trained her Muse, a fe-lion, to shake hands, roll over, and jump through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angie can also. Muse has managed to entertain friends and followers on social media with his wry wit and humor. All social media @AngBreidenbach

Categories
Humor

The Write to Expire

The first day of the writer’s conference, my daughters and I crowded onto the elevator with several other conferees making their way to the morning keynote session. Fifteen-year-old Holly and 17-year-old Leilani were the only teen attendees that year.

“I just love to see expiring new writers,” spoke up an elderly lady. She nodded and smiled at my daughters. Of course, she meant to say aspiring. Not expiring. I think.

Quick-witted Holly didn’t miss a beat. “You must mean my mom.”

During the process of writing 29 of my own books and many titles for clients in addition to countless articles, some of the funniest moments revolve around what I meant to say compared to what I wrote. When those two elements align, writer and reader communicate. More like writer, editor, and reader communicate. Then there are the occasions when what I intended to write is different from the words on the manuscript.

“The plane began its decent” is more accurate as “The plane its descent.” Sigh.

“Her eyes rolled around the room” was supposed to be “She glanced around the room.”

“His face flew down the stairs” is better described as “I watched him come quickly downstairs.”

“The fallen woman lay at the bottom of the trail” or “The woman fell at trail’s end.” There is a world of difference between a fallen woman and a woman that fell.

Leilani went on to become a full-time writer and Holly’s writing skills keep communication clear and flowing in her career. And, okay, while half of my kids are writers, the others are allergic to reading and writing. But we all enjoy a good misplaced word or clever turn of a phrase. Leilani and Holly still occasionally refer to me as the expired writer.

 

PeggySue Wells
PeggySue Wells

History buff and tropical island votary, PeggySue Wells parasails, skydives, snorkels, scuba dives, and has taken (but not passed) pilot training. Writing from the 100-Acre wood in Indiana, PeggySue is the bestselling author of 29 books, translated into eight languages, including The What To Do series, The Slave Across the Street, Slavery in the Land of the Free, Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries, Homeless for the Holidays, Chasing Sunrise, and The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make. Radio talk show host, author, and speaker, she interviews industry experts, entrepreneurs, and exceptional voices to help people live better, together. Connect with PeggySue on Facebook, Linked In, and at  www.PeggySueWells.com

Categories
Humor Inspiration for Writers

A Frightening Proposition

What is your greatest fear? What would it take to face that fear, and make the shift from from fear to love?

Halloween, El Dia de Los Meurtos, All Hallows Eve—these traditions offer a great opportunity to reflect on our faith walk and the extent to which we are allowing the Holy Spirit to move us away from fear into His perfect love. The journey itself could spark a great story.

Anytime I notice myself living a little smaller, a little less joyfully, a little less confidently—I know it is time for me to stop, pray, and reflect. I ask God to show me His truth and to lead me back into His light—and to allow His perfect love to cast out all fear. And then I take the time to backtrack and acknowledge the crooked thinking, or soul woundedness that made me vulnerable to breathing in fear or lies, instead of basking in His love and peace.

This process of uncovering distortions and moving away from fear toward love is embedded in the lives of the characters in the novel I’m currently working on. Asking myself how fear shows up and holds my protagonist back strengthens my writing and creates space for growth and personal renewal as a result of my characters’ struggles. Tonight, as I set up individually bagged candy offerings for my neighborhood goblins, I’ll be thinking about how the Word of God can lift off the mask of our distortions and bring us into the clarifying light of His love.

Catherine Finger
Catherine Finger www.CatherineFinger.com

And tomorrow morning, I’ll be back at my computer, weaving suspenseful tales as my characters move away from fear and back onto the path of His glorious love.

Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates the ability to write books, ride horses, and serve others through her emerging coaching practice. She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Humor

What’s In A Name?

I’m fascinated with names. Maybe all of us writers are.

I like creative names and creative spellings. I’m intrigued with old-fashioned names that come back in style, and I like unique names I’ve never heard of.

I’ve chuckled at names, like one of my college friends, whose first name was “Holly” and she married a gentleman with the surname “Wood.” She said she had trouble cashing checks with the signature “Holly Wood,” so she eventually stuck her maiden-name initial between the two words.

My brother had a friend named William Williams, but at least he went by the name “Bill.”

A convenience store in my hometown was owned by Billy Joe Deal who married a woman named Billie Jo.

When I became pregnant with our first child, David and I decided we liked the name “Jeremy.” I told my husband I thought it would be fun to give him a “J” name for me and a “D” name for him, so child number one became “Jeremy David.”

We stuck with the plan for child number two, and she became “Jenifer DeeAnn.” Yes, only one “n,” because my husband likes creative spellings, too.

Child number three answers to the name “Jeb Daniel.”

And then when God said there would be four, my husband and I pondered briefly abandoning our nomenclature method for fear of giggles from our new west coast friends.

Julie, we’re not in Georgia anymore,” fretted my Navy officer husband, who was serving a billet in California.

“Well, everyone out here thinks we’re tacky rednecks, so let’s do it anyway,” I joked. And our dear, California friends welcomed “Jessica Danae” to the mix, shortened to “Jessi” on occasion.

What my husband and I hadn’t thought about was that all of our kids would have the exact same initials, so their water bottles or snacks or other belongings were often labeled J1, J2, J3, and J4. We feared they’d grow up to tell a therapist: “We were just a number in my house.”

My favorite thoughts about a given name, however, come from Acts 4:12 (ESV) and says, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

I am so thankful for that Name.

Lavender FieldOh, and I did forget to mention – my parents named me Julie Anita Bland when I was born. So, when I married, my name changed from Julie Bland to Julie Lavender. My husband loves it when I say, “I went from dull to colorful when I got married.”

 

365 Ways to Love

BIO: Julie’s favorite color as a child was purple, so she loved adding “Lavender” to her name when she married. Julie Lavender’s newest book, 365Ways To Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments Into Lasting Memories (Revell), releases this month. It’s on sale right now, 40% discount, at Baker Book House with no shipping cost and is also offered as a giveaway at Goodreads.com.