"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Friday, September 22, 2017

Hopeful After Harvey

Hello all!

I hate that I haven't been around to visit much lately, but I know anyone keeping up with us will understand. My parents lost pretty much everything due to Hurricane Harvey. Dozens of friends and family members are in the same situation. The recovery process will be long and painful for many.

Insurance and construction companies are saying it may be as much as four or five years before some are back in a home. Meanwhile, many have lost their homes, vehicles, and jobs. Some are simply moving as far away from the coast as possible to start over. Others have chosen a more gruesome approach. The suicide rate is up - some of them in a very public way.

Many are struggling. Many are depressed and angry. Many are still offering as much help and hope as possible.

While my writing has taken another dive lately, I'm still reading some excellent books. I wanted to share three helpful and hopeful reads with you.

Carey Scott, author, speaker, and certified Biblical Life Coach, invites you to journey alongside her as she introduces you to women from the Word who chose to live uncommon lives even in the toughest circumstances. From stepping into scandalous situations to breaking cultural norms to risking the departure of a comfortable life, you will discover hope and motivation to live God’s way in a world that screams, “Tuck your faith away! Just be normal like everyone else!”

Now more than ever, it's time to step into something new. . .something life-changing and life-giving. God is asking you to shine Him into a world that needs to know there is a better way to live. And when you say yes to becoming uncommon, it's a radical act of obedience to the One who created you to be extraordinary.  Uncommon offers personal stories, insights, life lessons, questions for further reflection, and biblical support written especially for women.

With authenticity, vulnerability, humor, refreshing boldness and anchored in the Beatitudes, Uncommon will empower you to rise up. . .to reject the common. . .to embrace your calling. . . and to live in a way that points others to God. Buckle up, friend. It's time to be uncommon.


I absolutely LOVED this book and have revisited several sections already. A definite must read for anyone struggling with ANY situation!

Journey now to Ruby City, Idaho of 1866 where...
A Marriage Mishap Creates an Awkward Love Triangle in this Silver Mining Town
 
Looking forward to a quiet life and a full stomach, mail-order bride Rebecca Rice is pleased to marry her shopkeeper intended, Mr. Fordham, until the justice of the peace calls him Thaddeus, not Theodore—proceeded by the title Deputy.

Is it possible to marry the wrong man?

When the newlyweds realize they’ve married the wrong partners with similar names, an annulment seems in order—and fast, since Rebecca’s true intended is impatient to claim her as his own, not to mention Rebecca would never marry a lawman like her father. But when the legalities take longer than expected, Rebecca wonders if Tad wasn’t the right husband for her all along. . . .


This quick and simple read may be slightly predictable, but it's still highly enjoyable. 

Life is a journey of joyful moments and painful moments, including twists and turns that threaten to undo us. But if we allow God to work through the joy and the pain, that journey can lead to the life-sustaining richness of His Grace and an intimate relationship with Him. That truth is the core of international speaker and teacher Darlene Sala’s new women’s devotional, Journey into Grace. With Darlene’s heartfelt voice alongside two coauthors, including her daughter, Bonnie, the 150 readings explore themes such as fear, forgiveness, learning, loving, prayer, and relationships.

This book offers women quiet moments with God as they bring their real life challenges to His feet.

While I have not yet read all of these devotions, what I have read so far has held nuggets of truth and true meaning. I look forward to reading more.

I received a complimentary copy of these books from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

What reads would you recommend to down trodden souls seeking hope and/or a great book to disappear into?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Top Writing Blogs

A special "thank-you" to Tiana at 10greatest.com for mentioning my blog in her list of top ten blogs worth visiting. 

She mentioned me, and featured Writing in Wonderland in her list of top business bloggers in her article which can be found here: http://www.10greatest.com/top-writing-blogs/

She also shared links to some other great writers, and created this special badge to share.

It's always great to connect and share common interests with new readers, and other writers. Thanks so much Tiana!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

IWSG Anthology Contest

It's time for another Insecure Writers Support Group Anthology Contest! A special thank-you to the IWSG administrators, organizers, aids, judges, and Dancing Lemur Press for continuing to create these opportunities for our members. Below is the information for this years contest.

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free. 

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Thriller

Theme: Tick Tock. The story revolves around a clock, is time sensitive, or has something about a specific time. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence. 

Story deadline: November 1st 2017

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group. 

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.


Elizabeth S. Craig writes cozy mystery series for Penguin Random House, Midnight Ink, and independently. She curates links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig that are later shared in the free search engine Writers Knowledge Base.

Anne Hawkins is a partner in John Hawkins & Associates, Inc., New York. Founded in 1893 by Paul R. Reynolds, it is the oldest literary agency in the country. She works with mainstream literary and commercial fiction, including mystery, suspense, and thrillers and a wide variety of serious non-fiction, particularly history, politics, biography, science, and natural history. A number of her books have gained distinction through award nominations, book-to-film contracts, significant foreign rights sales, major book club selections, or placement on the New York Times bestseller list. Anne Hawkins is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives.

Candace Havens is the Editorial Director of Covet has written multiple novels for Berkley, Entangled and Harlequin. Her books have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists, runs a free online writing workshop, and teaches comprehensive writing class.

Author, Public Speaker, and Executive Producer, Lynn Tincher was born just outside of Louisville, Kentucky in the beautiful city of La Grange. She has written four books, with the fifth one currently in the making. Her first book, Afterthoughts was optioned for movie production by Kilted Pictures and Dancing Forward Productions in Los Angeles. It is currently in pre-production with plans to shoot in Louisville, Kentucky very soon.

Ion Newcombe is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia's longest running online speculative fiction magazine, regularly issued since January 1998. His qualifications and employment range from horticulture through electronics into literature and communications.

Patricia (Pat) Stoltey is the author of four crime fiction novels published by Five Star/Cengage including a historical mystery called Wishing Caswell Dead (https://www.amazon.com/Wishing-Caswell-Dead-Patricia-Stoltey/dp/1432834401/) (December 2017). She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, Sassy Dog, and Katie Cat. To learn more about Patricia and her books, visit her website/blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Mason Canyon had a love of books since childhood encouraged by a mother who loved to read. A 30+year career in journalism fueled her desire to know what a story is all about. Blogging at Thoughts in Progress since 2009 and operating MC Book Tours for over a year. Loves to read and share great stories with others. MC Book Tours

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. 

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word! 


I might have to submit to this one. How about you?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG: Surprised Writing

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

SEPTEMBER QUESTION: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? (For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?)

My Answer - Yes, two of my favorite published pieces "WIN" (a new genre for me which was published in the IWSG PARALLELS anthology) and "Family of Rejects" (published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot) are both pieces I am particularly proud of producing. I won't talk about unpublished pieces yet.

I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised with some of your own writing!

If you're keeping up with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, you can read my post yesterday, or follow my facebook feed.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Life in Pieces

Hello all -

I'm writing briefly today with a heavy, but hopeful heart. My house sustained only minor external damages. We are back in it with additional family who was not so lucky.

My parents had more than four feet of water in their home and had to be rescued by the Cajun Navy. We were finally able to get back to their house today to start clean up. They've lost nearly everything. They were still some of the lucky ones.

I'm sure by now, you have seen news coverage showing homes with only rooftops sticking out of water. The New York Times listed my town of Bridge City as one of the six most highly effected areas in Texas. Houston isn't even on that list. I've shared the article on my facebook page. This disaster has shown some of the best AND the worst of people.

THE BEST - Even people who have lost most of their own possessions are sharing what little they have with their community. Local people who had no damage have opened their homes, hearts, and wallets to those around them. Local chain restaurants and churches have pulled together to get any food and supplies possible to people who are in need. The perfect examples of southern pride and Christian hospitality are giving thousands someone to lean on.

THE WORST - Federally funded relief organizations are barely helping. They make a big show coming in for the cameras, but then turning away help to many in need. I've seen people with pets, children, or seniors turned away. I've seen restaurant owners and churches with food and supplies turned away from being allowed to help because those federal organizations won't get their federal dollars if they can't prove they are using a set amount of money. I've seen them only allow their evacuees to have 2 bottles of water and an MRE a day while people flying in hot meals are being dragged away from the buildings because they are not federally approved supplies. I have seen people leave the shelter to get supplies from those offering them in the parking lots or down the streets, and then being told they are not allowed back in the shelter because the chose leave it for a hot meal. You can search articles and facebook posts on this. I'm not the only one witnessing it.

PLEASE, if you feel moved to donate - find a local charity or church. Lake Charles, Louisiana has many that are supporting Texas. My own church: http://www.tbclc.org/  is one. If you know certified remediation or construction crews, many in this area will soon need help.

Continued prayers and support will be needed and greatly appreciated for a long time.