Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Advice from an author who knows how to travel the world: Meet Lydia Crichton


Today I get to welcome Lydia Crichton, author of GRAINS OF TRUTH (Barringer Publishing/May 2013), to my blog. A native Texan, Lydia has traveled all over the world in her twenty-plus year career as a marketing and fundraising expert for nonprofit organizations. A trip to Egypt in 2002 turned into a life-changing odyssey, which led her to discover a passion for telling stories that entertain as they explore complex and controversial social and political issues. She currently lives in California's Napa Valley--the inspiration for a second book in the Julia Grant Series, woven around the shambles of illegal immigration in the U.S. For more information, visit: www.lydiacrichton.com.

And for a truly amazing video about GRAINS OF TRUTH, scroll down this page... and watch out for that co-star who's so very eager to steal the scene.
 

GRAINS OF TRUTH is an action adventure starring a a devout pacific, Julia Grant, manipulated vy US Intelligence into joining a covert mission to foil a terrorist plot. The story's set in the Bay Area and in Egypt, a country which is, of course, very much in the news at the moment. So I asked Lydia to share something of her experience of the country. Over to you Lydia, and welcome to my blog.




Lydia Crichton -

Women Traveling to Egypt Today: 
PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Egypt in revolution is a dangerous place, especially for women. Although I experienced unsettling moments during my travels there a few years ago, I did feel safe most of the time. My first trip to the Land of the Pharaohs in 2002 fulfilled a long-time dream: to explore an ancient land of mystery, rich with centuries of a glorious past. Admittedly, the stark contrast of contemporary life in a patriarchal society under the thumb of a decades-old authoritarian government struck a jarring note. One aspect of the harsh practices of that heavy-handed regime, however, made my travels easier, even if not fully appreciated at the time. Crime was not tolerated, and severely punished. Armed guards were everywhere—hotels, museums, sites of antiquity—there to protect tourists and the essential revenue they brought to the Egyptian economy.

Returning several times over the next few years, I became more adventurous, going places “off the grid,” sometimes with a guide, often on my own. One summer in Cairo I hired a car and driver to take me across Sinai to the resort town of Dahab on the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba: just me, alone with a male stranger, for many long, sweltering hours across the stark and mostly uninhabited desert. This astonished my Egyptian friends and now I understand why. Even back then, it was clear that Egyptian men held Western women in contempt. We were all regarded as “promiscuous,” if not out-and-out whores. This grew increasingly tedious over time. I was always careful to dress conservatively and do nothing to draw attention, but there was no escaping the insulting leers of the local male population. All the Western women I met there told the same story. Regardless of circumstance, every conversation or encounter with an Egyptian male always came down to the same thing: sex.

Today Egyptian women are being sexually assaulted, even those following the Islamic custom of covering themselves from head to foot. They stood beside their Muslim brothers to demand more freedoms—and now find themselves the victims of those “brothers.” These are the daughters, sisters, wives of their fellow countrymen. It would seem the male contempt for women is not limited to those from the West. There are many theories as to why this is happening and who the perpetrators are. For women in Egypt all that matters is that they are not safe.

My heart goes out to the majority of the Egyptian people in their quest to realize their dream for a more democratic and secular state. But, “bold and adventurous” as I tend to be, I would have grave reservations about traveling to Egypt today. My advice: If you absolutely must go, don’t go alone. Travel in a group, or at least with one other person—someone you know and trust. Limit activities at night to well-lighted and protected areas. The ancient Pharaohs may be watching from on high, but they cannot protect you now.




 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A child, a baby, a dream, a hope, and more book reviews

I'm writing children's stories about a pre-schooler who plays with his friends in the street, helps his mom sweep the floor, keeps asking if the bread has finished rising yet, stomps grapes when the harvest comes in, and generally has fun. This story's going to be about being kind to strangers. I write the first line: "One day, Jesus was playing with his friends..." And I mentally bow my head at the name of Jesus because I grew up Catholic and that's what we do. Then I wonder if children listening to the story will bow their heads too. I'm glad the preacher reminded us on Sunday that Jesus was wholly human as well as wholly God, and human relationships were important to him. It helps me remember why I'm writing about this little boy--I want children to know he was once a child, just like them, and they can grow up to be more like him.

Of course, I'm also writing book reviews: One book's about a world where children are almost invisible; another ends with a single child's life as the most precious gift; one book ponders the nature of woman; another the nature of science (or parascience); and the last looks at love and loss.

Starting with The Babi Makers, by Christopher Geoffrey McPherson; in this possibly futuristic, or possibly alien world, life is wonderfully well-ordered, sexuality is no more complicated than a fine meal or a kindness shared, and children are never unwanted. In fact, children are bought and paid for in full before birth to ensure no complications--nothing to spoil the general pursuit of happiness. But something is serious amiss in this perfect world, and happiness proves somewhat minimal as human emotions go. Enjoy this dark tale with a bold dark 5-star coffee.

Into the Savage Dawn by P. L. Parker delves into our world's past rather than its future, with a group of intrepid time-travelers trapped in a world ruled by wild animals and wild tribes of Cro-Magnon man. A romantic sci-fi adventure, it starts with a wounded woman trying to catch up with the group while danger threatens from every side. Communication's the key--with other tribes and with each other. And survival too--which might include children one day. Enjoy this fast-moving easy-reading adventure with a 2-star easy-drinking cup of coffee.

Next comes a collection of short stories and poetry. Twisted, by Uvi Poznansky, includes Biblical fiction with the author's trademark twists and modern day allusions, the poetic relationship between a lump of clay and her sculptor, feline determination to survive, and human longing and loss, all in one slim volume. Ponder on the nature of woman with a rich elegant complex 4-star coffee as you read this one.

Everygnome’s Guide to Paratechnology, by Joseph J. Bailey, is a very different sort of "novel," written in the form of an instructional brochure for students who happen to be gnomes. There's some pretty deep wisdom hidden behind some of those witticisms, and the tone is a perfect parody of self-help tomes. Enjoy with a mild crisp 1-star coffee, and don't blow too many things up.

And finally, a short story, The Visitation, by Brian Bigelow. At the end of life, an old man lives alone with kettles to boil, books to read, and memories trapped in photographs on the shelf. It's a sad story, but a visitor in the final pages brings solace and hope. Enjoy with a short cup of dark intense 5-star coffee.



Monday, July 29, 2013

Which comes first--Faith or Miracles? An interview with author J.D. Winston


 Today I'm delighted to interview J.D. Winston on my blog, author of God Must Be Weeping, released by BoulevarDream in January of this year. So please read on and learn more about a second world war novel where bonds of friendship are tested, faith is challenged, and fears are exposed. Not just a war novel, it's a story of misfits from different social and spiritual backgrounds and how friendship binds them together. It sounds just my sort of thing and I really hope I'll get to read it sometime.



  1. So, my first question for J. D. Why did you choose to write about the Second World War as opposed to any other time of struggle or change?

I set the story in the context of WWII because it is widely acknowledged to be a ‘just war,’ and provided a backdrop for a compelling story, where I could delve into the themes of my novel, GOD MUST BE WEEPING: friendship, passion, faith, heroism, and love.

  1. How did you research the environment for your novel.  Did you draw on any of your own experiences to describe basic training? Or battle? Or faith?

I spoke at length with a friend who served in the military and made sure the details were technically accurate, and, I drew from my own personal battles.  I suspect that is where the genesis of the story came from. 

  1. Do you aree with Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s sentiment, “It’s not miracles that generate faith, but faith that generates miracles.”  Why/why not? 

That sentiment resonates with my spirit.   I do believe faith can generate miracles; however, I have seen miracles happen to people who believe in God, and to those on  the fence. 

  1. Did you have a particular audience in mind as you wrote your novel? If so, how would you describe your ideal reader?   

No.  I strove to write something that would move people and take them on a meaningful journey— the book touches on the intangibles questions of life: love, friendship, faith, free will, death, immortality and God. 
   My ideal reader is anyone who revels in literary fiction, a tender love story, poignant tale of friendship and heroism and faith, historical fiction, a passionate and philosophical reflection on the vicissitudes of life in war

  1. What do you hope readers would take home from reading your novel? 

That every day is a gift—and, to be compassionate with others and embrace those who are distinctly different from you without judgement.  If you are open-hearted, you never know who may become a close buddy, and touch your life in a profound way. 

Thank you so much J.D. It was a pleasure to interview you.

More about the book:

God Must Be Weeping by J.D. Winston (BoulevarDream, January 2013) is a story of one man’s journey of courage, passion and faith set during the turbulent days of World War II. Montgomery Mason, an aspiring writer, passes on a job at a newspaper to follow his dream of becoming a soldier. During basic training he builds intense friendships with three men from three different social and spiritual backgrounds. This band of “Misfits,” as their sergeant nicknames them, has their bonds tested, their faith challenged and their fears exposed along the battle-scarred beaches of the Pacific.

God Must Be Weeping is a vivid illustration of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s sentiment: “It’s not the miracles that generate faith, but faith that generates miracles.” With intense dialogue, richly drawn characters and an impeccable eye for period detail, JD Winston has written one of the most honest and emotional war novels to date. While inspiring and life-affirming, God Must Be Weeping is also a riveting and action-packed war novel.  ForeWord Review calls God Must Be Weeping an “achievement.”

For more information, go to:

http://www.boulevardream.com/
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6914710.J_D_Winston

or find the book at:

http://www.amazon.com/God-Must-Weeping-J-D-Winston/dp/0615681948/

Thursday, July 25, 2013

If I sell one book per month does that make me an author?

The speaker at our local writers' group last Sunday said all authors have to be entrepreneurs, and the author/entrepreneur's life goes in three-month cycles. For weeks you'll be over the moon because your book's been released and it's selling and good reviews are coming in. Then comes that one week when you sell nothing and the world comes crashing down...

She's obviously a much more established author/entrepreneur than I am. If I sell a single book in a week I'm more than overjoyed. And if I sell more... Is that even possible?

Yesterday I found I'd been paid by Smashwords. I sold, on average, a book a month in six months of 2013. Which is one a month more than I sold in 2012 with them. But does a book a month make me an author, or just an aspiring writer with dreams too far above her station?

Still, whether writer or author or dreamer or something in between, I got paid real money and now I can afford three cups of coffee! So grab your coffee cup and enjoy these book reviews and coffee recommendations--short books this time, nicely designed for coffee-break, lunch, or a leisurely summer afternoon.

Starting with a lovely illustrated children's book, The Book of Ruth by Nancy Radke and Alison Miller, is part of the show and tell picture Bible. The pictures are bright and inviting, the text nice and clear, and the story's well-told. Drink a bright lively 2-star coffee then read with your kids (or grandkids) at bedtime.

Next is a book for teens. Choke, by S. R. Johannes, is the second book in her Breathless series. The author's deft hand with minimal backstory means you can read this easily without reading volume 1 (Suffocate), and the first line "Whether I'm real or not, the sun still burns my skin" is almost guaranteed to draw you in. Eria always thought she was normal. Now she might be a machine. Meanwhile the world and all its creatures seem out to get her. Enjoy with a bright lively 2-star coffee and hope book 3 comes out soon.

Cross Words, by Steve Forman, is a short scary tale of love and betrayal set at a somewhat surprising time of life. No one really knows what happened when elderly Jessica's husband disappeared, but now she's happily married again, and her husband's doing crosswords and playing scrabble... and the letters are talking to him. Enjoy this short tale with a 5-star dark intense coffee.

The Surrogate’s Secret, by Mimi Barbour, is an enjoyable romantic tale with exotic locations, big-city power, secrets, spies and lies, plus surrogate motherhood and genuine affection. A fun romp, best enjoyed with a lively easy-drinking 2-star coffee.

For readers wanting more than one short story at once,Twisted Shorties II, a Gather publication, offers a wealth of poems, flash fiction, short stories, novel excerps and more in a single e-volume. You'll need several cups of coffee as you read this eclectic collection, from mild light 1-star cups through to 5-stars, bold dark and intense. Enjoy.

And finally, since I really do want to write better and sell more books, what better book would there be for me than a whole writers' workshop in one volume. I was lucky enough to be given a free ecopy of Writing Fantasy Heroes; powerful advice from the pros, which really is just as valuable for any writer as writers of pure fantasy. Don't we all have action scenes where we stumble over describing every blow. Don't we all create "tomes" then worry in case we've just drawn a cliche? And isn't
exposition vs dramatisation" a much better way of looking at show and tell? There's enough for several weeks-worth of reading in here, and it's all well worth the time, so load up the coffee-maker with 4-star elegant coffee and read on...


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Paperback Reader

I'm catching up. Honestly I am. And this week I've enjoyed that rare pleasure of reading genuine paperbacks, leaving them lying around the house, one in the bedroom, one on the sofa, one on the chair, then carrying them, then wondering where I left them and where's my pencil so I can take notes about what I'm reading there. Of even greater pleasure is the fact that all five paperback books were so thoroughly enjoyable, so grab a coffee, pull up a chair, and see which ones would catch your fancy:

First is Past the Last Island, by Kathleen Flanagan Rollins, is a beautifully evocative novel of prehistory, set in the Pacific Islands. Second in her Misfits and Heroes series, it continues to tell the story of those unlikely strangers who rise above their world instead of fitting in, and so help the world they know to grow bigger. It's a rich, elegant, complex novel; enjoy it with some 4-star, rich, elegant, complex flavored coffee.

Moving forward in time (and even time-travelling a little), The Freedman and the Pharaoh’s Staff, by Lane Heymont, is a fascinating tale of post-Civil War America, where a black man in the south finds his world turned upside down when his brother-in-law commits a crime. The story's a fascinating mix of realistic Klansmen, mystical powers in darkest Louisiana, a very scary touch of time-travel, and genuinely interesting characters. The contrast between South and North is very nicely drawn as the action moves to New York, and the whole, despite it's distinctly odd premise (Ancient Egypt, Civil War America and WWII Germany all rolled into one), is truly intriguing and enticing. Enjoy with a 5-star bold dark coffee for some seriously dark and scary scenes.  

Rain Dogs, by Baron R. Birtcher, is set in the much more recent history of America's War on Drugs, just beginning in the 1970s. Gritty realism characterises the violent scenes of this tale, but it's paired with lyrically descriptive prose as the protagonist travels from verdant forests of Northern California to the deserts of Mexico. A novel that keeps you guessing, redeeming some characters even as others fail, this is one to enjoy with a 5-star bold, dark, intense cup of coffee.

Coyote Winds, by Helen Sedwick is a middle-grade, ya (and everyone else) novel set in a mix of Dustbowl Colorado and the present day. Wild winds, a wild but wounded coyote, and a boy who's just lost his grandfather, trying to make sense of the story left behind... This one's stunningly evocative and beautifully told--the sort of tale that will haunt you afterwards and have you listening to the wildness in your heart. Enjoy it's elegant complexity with a rich elegant 4-star coffee.

And finally, if you've just read about a struggling teenager in Coyote Winds, What Color is Monday? By Carrie Cariello should fit right in on your reading list. A personal recollection of a mother living with her now-eight-year-old autistic child, this book's inviting, intriguing, and honestly pleasing to read. Young Jack is not a sick kid who'll never get well; he's a child whose character hides and reveals itself to those willing to see. And this book is a lovely helpful depiction of just one "different" kid and how we can all relate better to difference in others. Enjoy with a well-balanced 3-star coffee.



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cover Reveal...

The Five-Minute Bible StoryTM Series is moving into the New Testament, and Bethlehem Baby is listed as "Coming Soon" on the publisher's website. Just go to http://www.capearagopress.com/ and enjoy the celebration fireworks. Then look for today's #OneADayGenesis prescription on Twitter for a free read from book 1 to soothe the kids at bedtime.

Real World... Real People... Real God...

and real five-minute stories (on kindle) to kindle inspiration.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Quick Reads for those long sunny lunch hours

Don't forget the Virtual Ebook Fair's still active on Facebook. Just click on the image to get there.


If you didn't find mine among those excellent snippets and samples, you could click here


for three stories from the Five-Minute Bible Stories Series (TM).

And then, if you've still got a spare hour or two, why not try these short books, reviewed below:

Jessica, by Laura DeLuca, is a delightfully haunting Halloween tale about the shy boy at the dance. Enjoy with a small cup of 5-star dark intense coffee.

In the same vein, Cross Words by Steve Foreman, is another short story with a sting, or a tusk, in its tail, best read with another 5-star dark intense cup of coffee.

In contrast, An Unexpected Adventure by D. X. Dunn introduces the Distania Chronicles with an appealing short story for children who like dragons and computers. Enjoy this bright lively tale with a bright lively  2-star cup of coffee.

Another excellent children's book is Beem explores Africa, by Simidele Dosekun
a beautifully illustrated, pleasantly educational book, with a natural voice, natural travels, and nicely chosen glossary of new words. The added attraction that it introduces children to a genuine image of Africa just makes this almost perfect. Enjoy this elegant book with a 4-star elegant cup of coffee.

Short Stories, by Chika Unigwe, is a truly beautiful collection of stories, genuinely short, filled with memories and characters that seem so very real. Traveling from Africa to Belgium, the author narrates these tales so convincingly you'll believe you've met the characters somewhere on the street. Enjoy this elegant collection with a 4-star elegant cup of coffee.

Beneath the Rainbow, a collection of stories and poems from Kenya, combines lovely art in different distinctive styles with beautiful stories and poems--pleasing, visually delightful, and thoroughly enjoyable to read. Pick up another 4-star elegant cup of coffee when you pick up this slim volume.

Finally, a short non-fiction book, The Rise and Fall of German Transylvania, by Catalin Gruia, advertizes itself as a 37-minute read. It took me somewhat longer, but then, history, geography and travel information aren't my usual choice in reading material. It's certainly filled with lots of facts and would make a great travel aid. Pack some 1-star light crisp coffee to enliven the reading.




Friday, July 19, 2013

What's a five-star review?

Want summer reads? Don't forget #OneADayGenesis on twitter will give you a daily dose of Genesis stories to ease your children's bedtime blues till the end of summer. And  the Virtual Ebook Fair's offering lots of real books by real authors on Facebook--just click on the image: Then read on for book reviews...


If you've followed my reviews you'll know I deliberately avoid giving stars on my blog. I do give coffee ratings, but they're for content, not quality. And I really don't feel qualified to judge the quality of someone else's book. After all, grammar's fairly important to me, but not to everyone. Historical accuracy matters to me, but other readers would rather enjoy a flavor of the past spread over a contemporary tale. Science is important, but some readers happily go with the flow while I might ask far too many questions. And, since I love poetry and song, rhythm and form matter far more to me than they might to somebody else.

That said, I've been told by one friend that my reviews are "useless" because I give nearly everyone four stars. I've been accused of trying to sabotage careers for one review with four stars and one with three. And another author asked why I didn't give her novel five stars when I'd written what she considered a "five-star review." So... just in case you were wondering, and just in case you've been looking up my reviews on Goodreads or Amazon etc, where stars are a prerequisite of posting anything...

Five stars from me doesn't mean perfection--I'm a mathematician; I don't believe in perfection. What it does mean is the book surprised me in a good way and a few days after reading it I was still insisting on telling everyone about it.

Four stars covers a really wide range, because I'm trying not to judge. If you want to know what I thought of the book, you'll have to read the review. Some four-star books are really good and I'm eager to have copies on my shelf. But I'm happy to move onto the next book as well, so they don't get the coveted five. Others really weren't my sort of thing, but they weren't bad either and I'm sure lots of readers will like them, so I reckon I'm okay to give them a four.

Three stars? Technically three stars should be average, and I could write a book on the evils of grade inflation. But four is my average and the stars were inflated long before I dared approach them. Three stars means the book surprised me too frequently in a less good way. Frustrated me perhaps. Pushed too many of my buttons? It might say more about me than it does about the book, and it certainly doesn't mean it's a bad book--like I said, I'm not qualified to judge. It just means it didn't work for me.

But coffee's far more fun than stars, so now I'll give some reviews for books I've read recently, and suggest the type of coffee you might drink while reading them.

Starting with a beautifully researched historical novella--and it's set in Rome, in the time of the Caesars, so it's bound to appeal to me--Empire Betrayed: The Fall of Sejanus, An Artorian Novella by James Mace. It's a short novel or long novella, filled with excellent and fascinating details of Roman life, power and politics. Enjoy with a bold dark intense cup of 5-star coffee.

Somewhat closer to the present day, One Glorious Ambition, by Jane Kirkpatrick, tells of one woman's life in America just before the Civil War. It's fascinating to see what else was going on in the world, and in the lives of the mentally ill on both sides of the Atlantic, at the time. Jane Kirkpatrick's novels are always well-researched and her female characters are always strong and complex. Enjoy this one with a well-balanced 3-star cup of coffee.

Moving forwards again, Book of Death, by S. Evan Townsend is set in an intriguing recreation of the 60s, with just a few small differences. The author times new revelations very pleasingly, slowly introducing the reader to a slightly different history and an intriguing blend of spy adventure and paranormal mystery. Thoroughly enjoyable; drink some 4-star elegant complex coffee with this elegantly complex action adventure.

Finally, here's a fascinating contemporary novel: Seasons in Purdah, by Anjuelle Floyd, is a fascinating tale of sight, insight and oversight. Strongest in its depiction of a woman coming to terms with her blindness, the novel depicts a classic love triangle with self-help, mystical and psychological overtones. It's not a quick read, but it's intriguingly complex as dreams and reality intertwine. Enjoy with a 4-star elegant complex cup of coffee.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Price of Authentic Voice—An Acrophobia’s Trapeze Nightmare

I'm delighted to welcome a guest to my blog today, Linda Crill, author of a fascinating real-life  book called Blind Curves--One Woman's Unusual Journey to Reinvent Herself and Answer What Now? It's got the Pacific Northwest, motorbikes, wine country, tattoos and piercings, amongst other things. And the reader might get to share the author's journey from misery to health along the way. But at what price?

Over to you Linda, and thank you for visiting my blog.
 

The Price of Authentic Voice—
              
 An Acrophobia’s Trapeze Nightmare


The Roots of the Nightmare
When I decided to focus on becoming a successful author, I didn’t expect that route would include learning to fly on a trapeze. I’m afraid of heights, and this scary experience was close to the top of my never-do list. But I found myself contemplating just that, after attending a 5-day writers’ retreat studying with New York Times best-selling author James Rollins.

Study with James Rollins
I arrived at the workshop carrying my almost finished manuscript, Blind Curves—One Woman’s Unusual Journey to Reinvent Herself and Answer What Now? It’s my real-life story of how after eighteen months of over-achieving at following one-size-fits-all advice for a 57-year-old widow, I was still miserable. In a moment of rebellion, I traded my corporate suits for motorcycle leathers and committed myself to a 2,500-mile road trip on a Harley with only thirty days to learn to ride. Blind Curves tells my story about this decision, and how I rode a full-sized, 800-pound motorcycle from Vancouver, Canada, to the wine-country of California with fear on one shoulder and excitement on the other.

Scary Gravel Road
On the third day of the writers’ retreat, James Rollins asked us to bring an action scene to class. I chose a California one where we decided to complete a 32-mile one-way loop through a deserted redwood forest. Twenty-five miles into this ride the road’s surface deteriorated from a two-lane asphalt to a single-lane, hard-packed dirt road. We couldn’t turn around because it was one-way. Then around a sharp curve, we faced an even tougher nightmare for a new rider like me. The road turned to loose gravel with washed-out crevices and 4 sharp hairpin curves that zigzagged its way up the side of a steep hill.

Forget Real Time
When I presented this story, James pointed out that my description about riding up the challenging hill took just 2 short paragraphs. He reminded us how thriller writers draw out time and could make opening the door of an abandon warehouse cover multiple pages. He coached me to forget real time and share with readers my thoughts and feelings of riding each section of that hill. Later in a personal feedback session, he highlighted more places in my manuscript where I should reveal in greater detail how Linda experiences fear and trepidation.

Stumped by No Voice and No Words
When I tackled the necessary rewrites, I was stumped. One of the challenges of writing a memoir is keeping your written voice authentically you. But when I tried to describe how I personally dealt with fear that’s different than others, I found myself lacking necessary words. It had been 2 years since I had completed the motorcycle journey and exact memories of that extreme fear had faded. Also, I appear to most others to handle whatever life throws my way. It’s rare that I talk about my fears except on rare occasions to a close friend or family member.

The Trapeze Nightmare Assignment
I decided to do research and asked myself what I was afraid of that I could use to study how I experience and process fear. I’m frightened by heights so I signed up for a five-day learn-to-fly trapeze camp in Upstate New York.

Flying, Then Writing
On the first day as I walked to class, the large outdoor circus-style trapeze set-up grew more luminous and foreboding as I processed its size and proportions. In class, every time I climbed the twenty-foot hanging rope ladder to the narrow 12-inch-wide platform I’d fight waves of fear racing through my body and pounding inside my chest—a sound that would have seemed louder if it weren’t simultaneously being drown out by an inner screaming voice demanding: When would I learn to say no to such stupid ideas?

Authentic Voice at a Price
Daily in class, I’d face my fears and fight my desire to retreat. And every evening, I’d write my observations and feelings in a journal. At the end of the week, I had ample notes and was ready to add more depth in an authentic voice to my manuscript.

When people ask me what did I learn on the motorcycle trip, I laugh and say it wasn’t half as difficult as writing a book. They look at me puzzled, but a writer’s life can be just as challenging and filled with unexpected adventure. An author’s search to find their own authentic voice and be true to it can come at a huge price.

Author Bio:
Linda Crill is a sought-after speaker, trainer, and thought leader on mastering the new leadership skills: reinvention, resiliency and chaotic creation. She is the author of Blind Curves—One Woman’s Unusual Journey to Reinvent Herself and Answer What Now? A story of reinvention where Crill trades her corporate suits for motorcycle leathers in a moment of rebellion on a quest to answer “What Now?” For more information visit http://www.BlindCurves.com. This book is available in both softback and eBook versions from all major online booksellers as well as orders placed by your favorite bookseller.
·         Connect on Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/Blind Curves
·         Connect on Google+: http://www.LindaCrillGooglePlus.com
·         Connect YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/LindaCrill
Links
1.   Linda Crill: http://www.LindaCrill.com
2.   Blind Curves—One Woman’s Unusual Journey to Reinvent Herself and Answer What Now?: http://www.BlindCurves.com
3.   Connect on Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/Blind Curves
4.   Connect on Google+: http://www.LindaCrillGooglePlus.com
5.   Connect YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/LindaCrill
6.   Book on Amazon.com at: http://tinyurl.com/BlindCurves-Amazon


Monday, July 15, 2013

Lost Soul returns to Angelwood in Glenell Randolph's novel


Author Glenell Randolph's novel, Finding My Lost Soul, was released last month, and I'm happy to be part of her Lightning Book Promotions tour. The novel can be found on




It certainly sounds intriguing from the links, and it's nice to be reminded that it's never too late to "let go and let God."

Book Blurb
Lula is no different than a lot of us that have lost their inner spirit, and hope when a devastating event has occurred. We tend to take on our battles alone, instead of trusting in our relationship in God to lead us, and carry us through our times of troubles and disappointments. We have to let go and let God just a Lula realized in the end. However, it’s too bad she didn’t realize earlier that silver and Gold is not more important than the Love and goodness you can feel through believing in the name of Jesus. Lula was beaten, prostituted, and contemplated suicide before she realized what Grace and Mercy meant. Thanks to the Trinity-God the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, Lula is now at peace. She can go back home to Angelwood, Texas as a matured woman ready to heal and live again.