To the Last…

by Carole Browngrass n dew free

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life is the brevity of it–and many other things. We know of a surety that all things must come to an end at some time.

I Peter 1:24 says: For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falleth away.

When Tamera asked me to join her Word Sharpeners site, we agreed that it was a temporary situation. She needed help for a period of time, and I was agreeable with that situation. Now, she’s entering into an exciting new adventure with her Facebook Book Parties, and I’m excited for her! But…

That means I’m moving on. I have new plans for my blog site this year: Sunnybank Secrets  ( Sunnybank Secrets ) and am excited to follow God’s leading for my life. Please be sure to follow my blog and/or any of my sites where you can find my books, offers and discounts, my thoughts on life, God and other tidbits of my life and adventures. My up-and-coming newsletter signup can be found on my blog site too. 

I’d love to connect with any of you at one or more of these places:

Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleBrown.author

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Carole-Brown/e/B00EZV4RFY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427898838&sr=8-1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/browncarole212

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sunnywrtr/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5237997-carole-brown

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=67381031

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113068871986311965415/posts

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

Thank you to those who’ve read and commented on my posts. It’s appreciated more than mere words can convey, but that’s all I have to show it. May you be blest in your own endeavors.

I’ve loved this adventure in sharing Tamera’s blog and have nothing but affection for her and wishes for her continued success! Do keep in touch with her FB parties (I’ll be participating certain months). moving on free

Following God’s leading is always so interesting and wonder-filled. Where will I be headed next? What is God thinking in my current situation? How can I fulfill his new plans for me? How does He want me to glorify him here? Sad times? Of course. That’s a part of life. But so many beautiful, energizing times too. 

Forward! Onward! Our cry for the here and now! 

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Ideas for Marketing 4

by Carole Brownbreak free chain free

“A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.”

Karen Lamb

How do I get started with marketing? It’s so scary! And I’m a loner!

Really?

So?

So am I. You must take yourself by the “bootstraps” or “shirt collar” and move ahead. Truly.

Venturing out into an unknown world is scary for many of us. We’d rather lurk in our self-imposed writing “hut” than to meet and greet those in the BIG world of marketing. But it can be done. Here are a couple encouraging ideas to help you get started:

  1. Take small steps. Ask friends, family and close associates for help. Whether helping you prepare a few memes or doing a small free promotion on their website, it will get you moving. Think small, think easy, think friendly. And one step…at…a…time.
  2. Allow yourself time. Don’t try to take it all in at once. Begin small, read and re-read the online marketing place that caught your eye. Pour over all their material. And if it sounds viable, take a breath and go for it. What’s the worse that can happen? They say no? Reject your request? Accept? Either way, you’ve made a start, and each step helps you on your marketing journey!

Now, here are a few suggestions on marketing for this month:

  • Check out marketing gurus who offer freebies and/or heavily discounted programs.
  • Book Heaven is growing and seems to be a great source of promotion.
  • Offer to write articles for magazines and blog sites. I’m not sure how many sales you’ll obtain, but your name will be in front of multiple eyes. Don’t discount this avenue.
  • Don’t overlook your own personal space, and by that, I mean your hometown/state. Get acquainted with writing groups in your area, check to see what marketing festivals and smaller writing conferences are available. Snag a spot if possible. Put each group in a folder and keep track of when and where events are happening. Libraries, small hometown bookstores, specialty groups that you may have a hand-in by including something of interest in your books. All of these are important.

That’s it for this month. Don’t despise the small. Whatever works for you, use it! 

sun smiley face freeHave a great month! 

What Would You Do…?

by Carole Brown

…if someone wanted to kill your baby? 61VMxm17AQL

  • Mary and Joseph fled.
  • In the Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, Cara is mad with grief and anger at the death of her oldest daughter. A tough read? Yes, but well worth seeing what happens to this sorrowing mother.

 

…if you had to give up your business in a hurry? Or face destruction?sabataged-christmas1-front-cover3

  • Joseph did. He and Mary had to flee to Egypt to escape the wrath of the King and begin again in his carpentry business.
  • In Sabotaged Christmas, Toni DeLuca must find the person casting doubt on her beloved father before her business is ruined and Christmas won’t be coming to Appleton, WV for her employees.

 

…if you were told you were having a baby, but you had no idea (at first) how it’d happened?front-cover1-w-apple-blossom

  • Mary did. She heard the angel’s proclamation, but told no one and kept everything hidden in her heart, pondering.
  • Starli Cameron was always told she couldn’t have a baby, but was it the truth? Only time would tell…after the struggles from the past vanished.

 

…if valuable items were given to you by kings?front-cover

  • Baby Jesus was visited by the three Magi and given precious gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
  • Caroline‘s friend, Andy, had valuable paintings, but Caroline disdained them. When one is stolen, she’s pushed into a mystery that proves how valuable paintings (and relationships) can be.  

 

…if you were suspicious of three foreign kings who visited you?WMITH Bk Cover small-Modified earrings

  • King Herod was, afraid that a new baby would take his place someday.
  • Tyrell Walker in With Music in Their Hearts had a reason to be suspicious of so many in the boarding house. After all, there was a foreign spy determined to wreck havoc to the U.S.

 

…if you were about to lose what you loved?A Flute In The Willows-2 Front cover

  • Mary and Joseph were. Baby Jesus was a precious gift from God. They were assigned a duty to raise him, and they would do anything to keep him safe.
  • Jerry and Josie thought they were losing each other, and both were determined to battle the war for their lives and their souls. 

 

Interest peaked?

Read St. Luke Chapter 2 to find the answers to the above questions.

Go here to find my books that hopefully will keep you reading and warm through the coming winter! 

Amazon Author Page

Merry Christmas!

christmas journey

 

Help for the Hurting Military Families at Christmas

by Carole Brown

pins stars patriotic free

 

 

Many military people dread Christmas due to various sadnesses, physical problems, financial setbacks, and loss of loved ones. It’s a struggle to move forward, to face each day let alone enjoy the season. PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is a serious threat to returning home soldiers.

 

I wanted to share a bit today that is the real–the true meaning of overcoming and/or getting through each day.

Here’s a story example:

He started to scoot out onto the balcony when pain shot through his whole body, and he wanted to scream. He pulled himself from the window ledge and staggered forward two steps before falling on his face.

What had happened? Marshall’s screaming voice echoed outside his head, but the world had faded to mental darkness. His left leg had gone numb. He shook his head. He couldn’t lose consciousness. To do so might mean death. He hung over the rail and surveyed the climb he’d have to make. His stomach churned with nausea.

The pain and fear of facing the unknown, of knowing you’re injured…

What happened?”

Her gaze flicked to the bottom of the bed, then back. “You were shot.”

The memory of that night swarmed in. “How long—”

Must you talk? You’re still pretty weak.”

How long?”

She sighed. “Two weeks. You almost died.”

Facing the fact that you are injured. Learning what exactly that injury is. Knowing you’re at the mercy of the doctors, possibly your wife or family…

Jerry. Lie still. You’re too weak to get up.”

Squeezing his eyes shut, he gritted from between his teeth. “I have to. It’s too dangerous for you to be coming here.”

I don’t mind.”

I do. Help me, and I’ll try it again.”

I wasn’t able to get a doctor. Our family doctor is not to be trusted. You almost died. Medwin—my cousin—has a bit of medical training and he thinks a bone or bones was shattered in your leg. He did what he could but your leg still became dangerously infected. I thought—”

What?”

Vanda bit her lip. “I thought we’d lose your leg if not your life.”

The infection’s gone?”

Yes-s. But it still looks bad.” Her brow lined with another worried frown. Her gaze flicked to his legs and back. “I-I’m not sure you’ll ever completely recover from that wound.”

The reality of the truth: you won’t ever be the same as before. Through luck, carelessness and/or lack of training or funds or uncooperative military bureaucracy, life will never be the same.

Soldi

ers who’ve given their lives for their country and come back injured severely—and their families—face extreme difficulties. It takes strong and determined companions to get through, to accept the fact that this new life will be a life long endeavor. There are no magic wands to change the facts of war.

Besides the horrific injuries many face, the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with its moodiness, verbal abuse, feelings of wanting to commit suicide, embarrassment, rejection, etc. takes its toll on soldiers.

During WWII

In A Flute in the Willows, I tried to show a bit of this in Jerry and the effect it had on Josie, his wife. Young and inexperienced, both of the Pattersons struggle to understand and deal with conflicting emotions. Josie’s father, experienced in war service, offers advice and encouragement.

“You’re going to have to be stronger than you’ve ever been in your life.” He warns Josie, and those words stay with his daughter over and over to strengthen and give her a boost to not give up on Jerry. In time her patience and love for Jerry win out.

 

raising-hands

 

“I’m here if you ever need to talk.” Knowing what military service is like, and having lived long enough to know a few things, Captain Ossie, Josie’s father, offers, but never intrudes on Jerry’s emotions. In time he heads to his father-in-law’s office to seek guidance.

  • Families need to understand that their soldier is going through unspeakable damages. Love, offer help and listening ears, don’t talk when their loved one is moody, encourage and never, never give up.

 

 

  • Friends who are there, offering hope and encouragement. Accept any help given and be grateful you have those kinds of friends.

 

  • God.  He is truly the only source who can pull a person through. Whatever comes, God is the strength, the supreme encouragement, the one who understands all, and the one who loves you unconditionally. Lean on him. Trust. Believe.

Both Josie and Jerry come through their own personal, and shared, problems, with God’s help, and understanding from others, that pull them through.

That’s what it takes for servicemen/women to overcome the worst of the nightmare of PTSD and injuries during the Christmas season–or anytime throughout the year. God, understanding and love.

A Flute In The Willows-2 Front cover

Read about the Patterson’s struggles and how God helped them overcome

their troubles in the midst of danger and heartache.

Amazon

 

Welcome Ruth

by Carole BrownChristmas ebook cover

It’s wonderful to have Ruth here today sharing about her new devotional book and a bit about her life. Do check it out and leave a comment too! 

Enjoy the interview!

Welcome, Ruth! How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I was nine years old. My first story, “The Hunchback Bug,” is now a writing tool for my students. Your first story doesn’t have to be good, but if you keep working at it, your writing will improve.

Wise advice. What made you want to write this Christmas devotional?

I had already written a lot of stories for children as well as a lot of devotions over the years. It seemed logical to combine them to create something unique for whole families to use during the Christmas season. I mentioned it to my friends and it became a project we worked on together.

What a fantastic project. Since this is a Christmas devotional, can you share a favorite Christmas memory?

Oh, goodness, there so many! I remember getting up super early with my siblings when I was a child. My parents would allow us to open our stockings, which was probably an effort to let them sleep a little longer, although I’m not sure how quiet we were.

Then there was the tree my husband cut down with our children one year. I’m not very good at spatial things and that tree looked a lot smaller outside. My husband had to cut a couple of feet off the bottom to fit it in the house, and the tree was so big around, it took up half of our living room. That was my favorite tree ever!

Fun!! I remember a couple times of “oversized, underbranched” beauties in our living room too! Lol. What made you want to be a writer?

That must’ve been God. I never struggled as a teenager with what I wanted to be when I grew up. I always knew I would write.

Me, too! Seems I’ve always loved writing. What are some of your other favorite things to do?

I enjoy quilting – that’s my thinking time. If I’m stuck on a writing project, I can go sew for a little while and then all of a sudden ideas start to come. I also enjoy being outdoors. As a family we enjoy hiking and camping.

Sisters blog (2)

In this picture of you, as a child, which one are you?

I’m the one on the right, the oldest. 

 

Family time is the best, and I do that too to energize my writing muse again. There’s a song for each day of the devotional. Do you have a favorite Christmas song?

There are so many beautiful ones. I’m not sure I have A favorite. I enjoy “Home for Christmas,” “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (the Steven Curtis Chapman version), “O Holy Night.” I could go on, but I won’t. Christmas songs just make me happy and help me focus on the reason for the celebration.

Where can we find you?

Blog – http://ruths-real-life.blogspot.com/

Website – http://ruthoneil.weebly.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RuthONeilAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/writerrutho

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Ruth-ONeil/e/B00AJ5S3YQ

Buy link for the book – https://www.amazon.com/Days-Christmas-Family-Devotional-Meaningful-ebook/dp/B01N1LTH26

Thank you for joining us today, Ruth!

Readers, don’t forget to check out Ruth’s links and her book!

 

Ideas for Marketing 3

by Carole Brown

Quote

                        “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”                                   –Henry Ford

           confused man free            

Henry Ford said it right. Attitude is a large part of a writer’s problem or ability to do the marketing. In today’s world, it’s vital. Besides knowing what a writer should write, a writer must discover for whom they’re writing: widespread or a set group of people or even for themselves. That decides how they should market which leads to where they should market. And sometimes when.

What, Who, How, Where, and When (More on these another time). Keep them all in mind and your writing journey will be that much easier. 

Here’s this month’s marketing tips for your perusal

  • Join some Facebook groups that specifically pertain to what you’re writing. Historical: you’ll find many. Thriller? Poetry? Again, do your research, and, I think you’ll not find a lack of like-minded poets. Just be diligent. Remember, if you write inspirational, use discretion. Some of the groups may not be christian, so decide if you can use them without bothering your conscience. I’ve gotten a few reactions/readers from posting on these sites.
  • Ask David. A Twitter-user-marketing site. This is a very valuable asset to my own marketing. It seems to keep my stand alone, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, higher in the Amazon ranks at times, so check it out. It’s reasonable, cost-wise.
  • Facebook Parties. I know some of them may get annoying or even boring. But if you do decide to use them, then join in with enthusiasm and creatively. Don’t just post information about your book and links, but have fun and brief contests and short information tidbits that catch interest. People love to read interesting facts about you and your work. Just have fun and friendly, and you may gain a new reader or two! 
  • Offer freebies when other writers ask. Yes, sometimes these will gain you readers when you offer your book as a gift. This can be an author’s private launch of a new book where he/she gives gifts of others books. Or a writing conference that requests books for welcoming bags or even bigger conferences where you can create baskets for auctions. DO take advantage of some of these by creating a beautiful and appealing basket that readers are begging and hoping to receive! 

Remember, if some of these seem a lot of work for little gain: nothing is to be despised. We can’t all be NYTimes best sellers, but we can all take control of our writing marketing. Gaining one or two readers (plus more!) here and there is not to be overlooked. Most everything is valuable in its own time and way. Smile.

Blessed Marketing to you!

 

Don’t Let Your Fears…

by Carole Brown

…keep you from writing.

Fear #1: Fear of the Unknown

Yes, cost you some money — marketing costs, training costs, etc.

But if something costs you, say, $500 over the course of a year, and you generate, say, $3,000 during that year, is the cost really what’s most important?

Don’t let the fear of investing some money now blind you from the many different avenues to profit and readers.

 

Fear #2: I don’t have the time

Yes, writing does take time. There is no way around this.

So if you literally have no time to invest in building an audience and developing your talent in writing, you probably should give in to this fear and walk away now. But in my experience, most people do have enough time to at least get moving — even if it’s not as much time as they’d like to have (a distinction that is critical).

The key is to actually prioritize your personal goals and your future (because no one else is going to do it for you), and then make smart choices about what to do with the available time that you do have.

 

Fear #3: But I’m an unknown! How will I ever get enough sales to make money?

 

Patience with your timeline, take a big-picture view, and smartly follow the proven path laid out by so many people who have come before you.

 

Fear #4: Okay, but how can I be confident that I’ll make good decisions and not screw everything up once it’s growing?

Because you’re more capable than you think. And because there are so many mentors and examples out there whose lead you can follow.

And, more importantly, because your own intuition — once it is honed by the deep experience you will gain growing an audience and learning how to serve them — is the greatest and most underrated guide you will have.

 

 

Fear #5: This all just a crazy pipe dream.

It’s definitely not a pipe dream. The thousands of successful writers out there, and the billions upon billions of dollars they generate every year, are proof of that.

As to whether it’s “crazy,” well … maybe it is a tad bit crazy.

But you know what? Most successful writers tend to be a little bit crazy. So this fear is actually a sign that you’re on the right track. 

 

And just for good measure, here is one more fear you might be feeling …

Bonus Fear: How will I know what specific steps to take to succeed?

This is probably the most unreasonable fear of them all.

Why?

Because so many successful paths and successful strategies have already been tried, judged, improved, and refined by those who have come before you.

 

Take a moment and reflect on any of the fears above that may be affecting your thinking. If any of those fears are stopping you from taking meaningful steps forward, now is the time to consider whether or not they should be.

Because if they shouldn’t be, then these fears are holding you back from living the life you truly want to be living.

And that’s not a fear to respect.

That’s a fear to reject.