God’s Wonderful World, Scenes and Imagination

by Carole Brown

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. –the Bible

As an author, I marvel at the sights of this beautiful planet. My imagination soars with the heights and floats with the breeze and waves. I imagine my established characters, and sometimes new ones, in these scenes.

Pictures and scenes are one of the greatest ways to foster ideas. I take LOTS of pictures in our travels. Some of them have made it into videos of my books. Others serve to keep my mind agile and brisk with ideas. 

Tell me, what kind of story ideas do these pictures give you?

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Do you see a young couple hiking in the northwest? What troubles do they stumble into? A dead body? A raging fire? Kidnapping? Finding themselves with new purpose? Do you imagine a family camping here and encountering wild creatures? Fishing? Hunting? Or can you see something entirely different?

For this one: I imagine one that I’ve begun and have yet to finish: 

Set in Mexico, in a missionary setting, a young girl meets two very different impressive men, but which one is the right one–for her? Then, she must also figure out which one is the drug lord… Can she do both–and survive?

 

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What do you imagine here happening?

An Amish story? an 1800s novel? A wagon train passing through? Or perhaps a country farm setting with a wife who dabbles in mystery problems in the nearby town?

To me, I can see another story,  I’ve begun and hope to finish soon, set during the late 1800s, Destiny and Michael riding their horses through one of the fields he owns, arguing, both strong people who must decipher whose father was the gold thief and find love in the midst of their suspicions.

 

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In this one, what does this scene depict in your mind?

A scary situation? Mystery? A lost child? Can you feel the terror? Do crazy thoughts of someone jumping out at you lurk in your imagination? Can you see children in an adventure book strolling this path?

To me, I can see in my Alex and Denton Davies series, the two of them walking this semi-dark woodland pathway, searching for clues or chasing after a suspect.

 

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And one last one to stir your creative juices…

Does this bring to mind a warm, cozy feeling? Can you see an abominable snowmen lurking close by? Or can you see a couple meeting on the ski slopes? A family adventure? A lonely older person meeting his soul mate? 

I see a mountain lodge where a female detective looks for a psycho suspect and runs smack dab into a love she hadn’t planned on. But can she find the bad person…and keep the love?

 

 

Can you see how we can use pictures and images to further our writing, to increase our creative juices, to spur us to keep writing, and to give us the encouragement we need when we’re stumped?

Take advantage of everything and all things that keep you writing.

Tell me, what do YOU see in these pictures? What do you use to sit down at your writing desk and add a few more pages to your document?

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A New Comedy Romance from Catherine Castle

by Carole BrownAGroomforMama2_200

A Groom for Mama

One date for every medical test—that’s the deal.There’s a new romantic comedy, by multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle, on the EBook shelves at Amazon, titled…

A Groom for Mama.

The book, which is full of plot twists, humor and drama, is loosely based on a play she and her author husband wrote as a contest entry for a local radio contest.

Readers are calling A Groom for Mama “simply delightful” and “an enjoyable read full of fun and wit and heart-felt emotion.”

Catherine’s going to give us a peek into the book today.

Enjoy!

A Groom for Mama

By Catherine Castle

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.

Excerpt:

With a sweep of his hand, Jack spread the photos out on the table in front of Allison and Beverly. “Here’s a few I just grabbed from the database. Any of them interesting?” He studied Allison’s reaction. She didn’t bat an eyelash as she scanned the men’s pictures. Then, without warning, she scooped them up and shoved them at him.

“I told Mama I wasn’t going to do this. It’s a stupid idea.”

“I’ll admit it’s not the ‘some enchanted evening, see a stranger across the room’ romantic way to find a husband, but it’s not totally unacceptable. Several of the couples my company has brought together have married.”

“And lived happily ever after?” she retorted.

“It’s a new company, Allison. I don’t have the stats yet.” He pushed the photos across the table. “Just take a peek. What harm can it do?”

Beverly grabbed the photo of a particularly handsome man. “How about this one? His coloring complements yours. You’d have beautiful children.”

Mama!” Allison snatched the photo away. “We’re not going to discuss my possible, yet unlikely, progeny in front of Jack.”

A flash of Allison kissing this guy flew through his head. He grabbed the photo from her. “He’s not your type anyway.”

“And just how do you know?” she asked.

“I dated you, remember? You ditched me for some suave, corporate hotshot. At least it’s what you said.”

“Allison!” Beverly exclaimed. “You never told me that.”

Allison shot him a fierce scowl. “I’m not comfortable discussing my love life with you, Mama. Besides, what’s done and over with should be buried . . . in the past.” She picked up another photo. “What about him? Or him and him?” She pointed to two nerdy-looking fellows. “They seem corporate.”

Mama leaned over and checked out the pictures Allison had indicated. “Too ugly,” she said. “He’s got to be handsome. Like Jack. I want to know my grandbabies will be as beautiful as you two.”

He grinned. “Thanks for the compliment, but I know I’m not your daughter’s type.” He laid a sheet of paper on the counter. “Fill this out. Then I can get a better idea of what you want in a husband.”

“I don’t want—”

“I know,” he interjected. “But, for your mom’s sake, just pretend you do.”

Want to read more? You can find A Groom for Mama at:

http://www.amzn.com/B074SZSGB1

About the Author:
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Catherine Castle, author of the multi-award-winning inspirational suspense romance, The Nun and the Narc, and the sweet romantic comedy, A Groom for Mama, loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she quilts and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place is in her garden. She’s a passionate gardener who won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

 

Connect with Catherine here:

Website:  https://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com

Blog: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com/blog/

Amazon author page:  https://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle

Goodreads page:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085414.Catherine_Castle

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AuthorCCastle @AuthorCCastle

Facebook:  https://facebook.com/catherinecastleauthor

Google+ :  https://plus.google.com/109253925035989625956/posts

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

SMP authors blog site:  http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

HAPPY READING!

4 Tips for Writing a Great Novella

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Novellas are basically stories that are too short to be considered a novel and too long to be under the short story category. They are fiction between 15,000 and 40,000 words. Novellas have gained popularity with the emergence of e-books because they cost very little to publish. Also an e-book novella can cost the reader as little as 99 cents. Many publishers and authors have created anthologies with a group of novellas around one topic, such as the Civil War, quilting, or Christmas on the frontier.

Although there are no hard fast rules in writing, here are four tips to remember about writing novellas:

One Plot: Novellas generally only have one plot. They are too short to develop subplots effectively.

One to Two POVs: A novella does better with only one or two points of view. It’s too short for much character development, so by limiting the number of main character points of view, it makes it easier to have deep character development.

One Topic: Keep the main thing the main thing. You want to limit yourself to a brief span of time and one problem your character needs to overcoming. One major focus will make your novella stronger.

Write Tight: Novellas are shorter than novels. They require you to get to the point as quickly as possible. This isn’t the genre to use long flowing writing or descriptions. Novellas require tight writing.

Here are three novellas I’ve written that are currently in print:

Resurrection of Hope

She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?

After Vivian’s fiancé dies in the Great War, she thinks her life is over. But Henry, her fiancé’s best friend, comes to the rescue offering a marriage of convenience. He claims he promised his friend he would take care of her. She grows to love him, but she knows it will never work because he never shows any love for her.

Henry adores Vivian and has pledged to take care of her, but he won’t risk their friendship by letting her know. She’s still in love with the man who died in the Great War. He won’t risk heartache by revealing his true emotions.

A Christmas Promise

During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape. When John is called away two days before Christmas to help at another settlement, he promises he’ll be back by Christmas Day. When he doesn’t show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas. Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.

4 Things to Remember when Plotting an Inciting Incident

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Every novel has an inciting incident, a point that starts the story’s journey. An inciting incident is the catalyst that causes the protagonist to take action. It is the thing that must happen to mess up your character’s normal life and set the story in motion. Without an inciting incident, there would be no story.

Don’t confuse the inciting incident with the doorway of no return. The inciting incident is what causes a disturbance in the main character’s normal life. The doorway of no return is when the main character decides to act in a way she can’t return from. There is a process of decision making for the character between the inciting incident and the doorway of no return where she begins her quest.

An example of an inciting incident would be when Katniss’ sister’s name is called for the games in the Hunger Games. The door of no return is when Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place.

In the Wizard of Oz, the inciting incident is when Dorothy’s house is blown away by a tornado. She may have had problems at home and dreamed of a better life over the rainbow, but nothing really happened until the tornado blew her away. The door of no return is when she kills the witch and puts on the ruby shoes.

For Lucy, in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the inciting incident is when Lucy hides in the wardrobe. The door of no return is when the beavers tell Lucy about the fawn’s capture. She and her siblings decide to stay and help.

Here’s four things to remember when plotting an inciting incident for a novel:

1. The inciting incident should happen early. By early, I mean by the end of the first chapter, maybe even by the end of the first scene. Some novels have the inciting incident in the first paragraph. Since the story doesn’t really start until the incident happens, don’t waste the reader’s time by taking too long to set up the story before the inciting incident.

2. Show that a change is needed. From the first sentence in the novel, show that the peaceful life of the character has conflict. Basically show that the protagonist’s world needs shaken up by the inciting incident.

3. Make the incident important enough to change the character’s life. The incident doesn’t have to be major, exciting, or earth shattering. But it does need to be the match to ignite the fire that changes things. It could be as simple as the protagonist meeting the love of her life when she’s happy with things the way they are or as earth shaking as being blown away by a tornado.

4. The inciting incident must be personal. Your inciting incident might be the Civil War or a nuclear war. It might involve a tornado or a fire. Whatever the case, if you incident affects masses of people, you need to show it from your protagonist’s viewpoint. Show how it changes your main character’s journey.

Sarah Edwards – The Mother of the Great Awakening

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Sarah Edwards is often overlooked when the First Great Awakening of the 1700s is mentioned, but her legacy and contribution to her husband’s ministry are enormous.  Over fourteen hundred descendants of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards have been traced in 1900 by A.E. Winship. Of these, fourteen became college presidents, roughly one hundred became professors, another one hundred ministers, and about the same number became lawyers or judges. Nearly sixty became doctors, and others were authors or editors.

Sarah Pierpont was born in 1710. Her father, James Pierpont, was one of the founders of Yale University. Sarah was known for her love of God at an early age. When she was 13, Jonathan attended Yale at age 16. He would often wait outside Pierpont’s church to catch a glimpse of her. He had this to say about her.

They say there is a young lady in New Haven who is loved of that Great Being, who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this Great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight; and that she hardly cares for anything, except to meditate on Him…You could not persuade her to do any thing wrong or sinful, if you would give her all the world, lest she should offend this Great Being. She is of a wonderful sweetness, calmness, and universal benevolence of mind; especially after this Great God has manifested himself to her mind. She will sometimes go about from place to place, singing sweetly; and seems to be always full of joy and pleasure…She loves to be alone… and seems to have some one invisible always conversing with her.”

Sarah Pierrepont married Jonathan Edwards on July 28, 1727 at the age of 17. Jonathan was serious and scholarly. Sarah was beautiful and enjoyed conversation. As far as their personalities, they couldn’t be further apart, but what attracted them to each other is their love for God.

Jonathan and Sarah had 11 children, 3 sons and 8 daughters. She prayed consistently for her children and was known for her parenting skills. She treated her children with gentleness and firmness. Although Jonathan contributed with child-rearing, making sure he spent at least one hour with the children every day when he wasn’t traveling, most of the parenting was done by Sarah. All of their sons became pastors, and their daughters married pastors.

Jonathan was also known as being absent-minded, spending as much as 13 hours a day in study, so Sarah was responsible for maintaining the household and keeping things going.One remarkable thing for that time period was Jonathan’s attitude toward Sarah. He valued her intelligence and not only relied on her to manage his personal affairs, but she also helped him with the ministry.

In 1734-1735, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Northampton and the surrounding ares erupted. Jonathan was at the center of that outpouring, but Sarah experienced it too. Jonathan asked his wife to write a testimony about her experience, and she wrote a long one. One phrased she used to describe it was being “swallowed up in God”.

When George Whitefield, Great Awakening preacher, visited Jonathan and Sarah Edwards in 1730, he said, “A sweeter couple I have not yet seen” and wrote about the peaceful home Sarah had created and how she freely talked about the things of God. He called her a perfect helpmeet for her husband and determined to get married himself.

In 1750, Sarah was by Jonathan’s side when he struggled with the congregation at Northampton Church. He would not allow the members of his church to take communion unless they had a salvation experience. This angered many of them because the town council had to be communicants of the Congregational Church to hold on to their government positions. The last pastor, Solomon Stoddard who was Jonathan Edwards’ grandfather, had allowed anyone to take communion regardless of their salvation.

Many in the church came against Jonathan when he asked for a raise in his stipend due to rising costs. The church said they would only consent after investigating the Edwards’ material affairs. Some were outraged that their extravagant minister had two wigs and two teapots! Jonathan denied possessing even one wig although he did admit they had several teapots. The congregation used this excuse to fire him.

Edwards was still in high demand and in 1751, became pastor of the church in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and a missionary to the Housatonic Indians. In 1757, Jonathan became President of the College of New Jersey, now known as Princeton. 

Jonathan died on March 22, 1758 when he contracted smallpox. He was out of town, so Sarah couldn’t be with him. He did leave a deathbed message for her. Over a year later, Sarah became ill during an epidemic and died at the age of 49.

Sarah was a woman who loved God, her husband, and her children. In many ways, she was a woman who was ahead of her time. She left a legacy that is still alive today.

Opportunity to Win BOOKS, Books, Books…and $50 Amazon Gift Card!

by Carole Brown

Wonderful opportunity for both authors and readers! 

What does it mean?

  • Authors: a chance to expose their book to new eyes/new readers! What a blessing!
  • Readers: a chance to find new authors/gain new books/win a valuable gift card!

What’s not to love? 

BUT (there’s always a but!). This opportunity is time limited. The celebration dates are September 11-17. Last day: Sunday, September 17. Don’t miss out!!

Back to School FB Book Celebration

Image may contain: 2 people

 

 

EXTRA:WMITH Bk Cover small-Modified earrings

 

And, as an added blessing: my WWII Spies, Book one (With Music in Their Hearts) is a part of this celebration.

Remember, Book Two (A Flute in the Willows) is scheduled for release late this fall (2017), so you’ll want to have read the first one–first.

Look for it!

Happy Reading!

 

 

10 Decorating Tips for Autumn

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

I love to add a few decorations for each season. Autumn is one of my favorite times to add some seasonal décor because of all the rich colors. Only a few additions will make a big difference. Here’s 10 tips for Fall Decorating.

1. Use a tablecloth with Autumn colors such as brown, rust, orange, or burgundy to bring color to your dining area.

2. Make or buy an Autumn centerpiece for your table. Here’s a post on How to Make a Simple Fall Centerpiece that even someone with two left thumbs can do.

3. Use pumpkins, gourds, and pinecones for decoration accents around the house.

4. Use candles and accent pieces with Autumn colors.

5. Glue different color leaves onto a poster board making a collage of color. Then frame it and hang it in a prominent place.

6. Take a hike through the woods and take photographs of the leaves changing colors. Blow up and hang the best photograph.

7. Cut holes in the top of gourds and place flowers in them for unique vases.

8. Attach dried cornhusks to porch posts or set them on either side of your front door.

9. Add a few fall colors to your flower arrangements.

10 Hang an Autumn wreath on the door.

Happy Autumn!!!