Sunday, July 20, 2014

Why Vintage Clothing and Antiques are loved by this author

It’s All in the Details

By Tisha Martin

I’ve heard that the life of a story is in the details and without details, writing careens to a sickening halt. We writers have our favorite genre and succinct, well-researched details that make our stories pop off the page. It’s what we write best and what we’re most proud of. For some, it may be science-related, westerns, Amish, mystery, modern, whether fiction or non-fiction. For others, it might be World War II.

I’m not sure when I fell in love with the classic eras of the 1940s-50s where the average citizen donned a hat and pair of gloves or a fedora to go shopping or attend a baseball game. It could be that the fascination began when I bought a simple yellow straw hat with a white flower at a garage sale. I was twelve. From there, I collected hats and vintage garnish from the ‘40s. Classic pride, stunning beauty, dedicated sacrifice, and pure simplicity begged my attention to such a strong era. Even though I had just started writing a western fiction series, I didn’t decide it would be World War II- themed until I was fifteen; but at twelve, the idea was forming.

That sixteen-book semi-western series developed into a World War II home front trilogy set in my hometown. To give myself some deeper hands-on experience with my trilogy, when I was in college pursuing a professional writing degree, I would take sections of my trilogy and see if I could write a short story. That’s the hardest part of writing—to take something large and pare it into a stand-alone. Of course, there were a few stories where even though they did stand alone, the reader knew there was more to the story.

One of those stories didn’t even come from my trilogy. A classmate told me a story about a deaf girl who got into a lot of trouble because she was adopted and was still learning sign language.
I decided to give the story a try—in my own words, moral lesson involving tomatoes, and favorite era.
My writing instructor loved it.

When I decided to submit it for the Commencement Contest my senior year, I was delighted and surprised that it was a finalist in the Original Narrative Fiction category. There comes a moment of sheer delight that what we’ve written wins the heart of whoever we’re trying to impress. It was that moment for me. I had entered commencement three years running and only made it in the top ten choices. To actually be a finalist!

 After a grueling month of prayer, re-writing, and research to get the details just right, I slid “Puddle of Remorse” underneath my instructor’s door and awaited the final results.
Two weeks later. “Congratulations,” the email said.
I was ecstatic. Honored. Blessed.
My story will be published in the 2015 Fountains, the student literary publication. It’ll be my first story in Fountains. Now that’s an exciting detail.

Meet Tisha Martin

Tisha Martin graduated from Pensacola Christian College with a bachelor’s degree in English and
Professional Writing. Even though she is pursuing a master’s in English Education, freelance writing is the heartbeat of her life’s calling. She has been published in several print and online magazines; Faithwriters’ anthology, Come Away with Me; and Answers Magazine (Oct.-Nov. ‘13 Impact section, “Keeper of God’s Word” and “Unleashing the Lion,” and the July-Sept. ‘13 online promotional). Her World War II historical fiction series is a work in progress, which she hopes to publish in two years. Her commencement winner, “Puddle of Remorse,” will be published in spring 2015. For more Fountains book information, please visit For more information about Tisha, please visit or LinkedIn.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Summary of Cleansed by Fire
Churches are burning and a man is murdered. Father Frank DeLuca is thrust into an impossible dilemma when he learns another church will be burned. But the information comes to him via the confessional, and church law forbids him telling anyone—even the police.
 He doesn’t know which church, when, or by whom. Still, he can’t sit idly by, and no law prevents him looking into the matter himself.
Countering this are a young widow whose mission is to make others shine, and a youth choir determined to help those whose churches have been destroyed by the arsonist.  
His investigation leads him dangerously close to the local drug scene and he soon discovers the danger has come to him. Can he save his own church? Can he save his own life?

Last month, one of my mysteries, Cleansed by Fire, was released as an audio book.  Oh, it had been released as a paperback book and then later as an e-pub.  But there was still a bit of excitement when it came out in audio.  Maybe it was because the narrator (Jonathan Mumm, an Emmy Award Winning TV journalist) seemed to capture the characters as I had heard them as I was writing the book.  Maybe it was a hope to make some more money from the same book.

 But, I think it’s more than that. A writer wants, most of all, to have his or her work read and enjoyed. I really like the book and this gives the book yet another avenue to reach readers, or listeners in this case.

 I had had an earlier book of mine turned into an Audio book.  While it sold well, reaching number seven on the publishers list, the process was rather impersonal.  I had no say in who narrated it.  I had no say in what the cover looked like.  I had no say – in anything.

That has changed, at least at Audiobook Creation Exchange, or ACX.  As the name implies, it is an exchange that brings the rights holders of books and producers/narrators together.  If you own the rights to a book, ACX will post information about the book and a short selection from the book (something that can be read in less than five minutes). Prospective narrators can then submit their rendition of that short piece, giving you, the rights holder, a chance to hear how they sound on your work.

 Please note, I am saying “rights holder,” not author.  If you have assigned the audio rights to a publisher, ACX cannot deal with you, even though you are the author.

 Having someone narrate a full length novel can be an expensive process.  What do I mean by that?  Of course, it depends on the length of your book.  It might cost $350 to $450 per finished hour of the book.  So, a 75,000 word book could cost between $2800 and $3600 for the narrator.  Keep in mind that the narrator and producer (could be the same person) will spend a number of hours to produce one hour of a finished product.

ACX offers another path. You can offer to split the royalties with the narrator, 50-50. If ACX pays 40% royalty, then you would get 20% and the narrator would get 20%.  It’s a gamble for you and for the narrator.  Still, it offers the writer (rights holder) an opportunity to broaden her reach with no outlay of money.

 Of course, you may not find a qualified narrator who will go to the work of producing a quality recording (ACX demands high quality) unless you do a good job of selling your book.  This is much the same way you have to entice an editor or agent to work on your book for no guarantee of a return. 

 ACX does offer yet another possibility for you.  You can narrate the book yourself.  ACX does require a high quality finished recording and can return your effort with instructions of how to improve it. Their site even offers advice on how to set up a home recording studio. 

 ACX is trying to help authors get their book into audio. Once the product is released, ACX will make it available through Audible, iTunes, and Amazon.

 The point here is, in today’s changing publishing world, you have more choices than ever before. One of them is an easier route to an audio book.  If you have a book on Amazon and you hold the audio rights, it is worth your time to investigate ACX and what they have to offer.  Go to and check out what they have to offer. I did and I’m glad I did.  Take a look at:

Brief Bio of James R. Callan

After a successful career in mathematics and computer science, receiving grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA, and being listed in Who’s Who in Computer Science and Two Thousand Notable Americans, James R. Callan turned to his first love—writing.  He wrote a monthly column for a national magazine for two years, and published several non-fiction books.  He now concentrates on his favorite genre, mystery/suspense, with his sixth book releasing in 2014.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

THE LADY FUGITIVE: Historical Romance


Back cover copy for The Lady Fugitive by Ada Brownell

How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster?
Jenny Louise Parks escapes from the coal bin, and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return. Because he is a judge, he will find her.
Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William and there’s a hint of romance. But while peddling household goods and showing a Passion of the Christ moving picture, he discovers his father’s brutal murder.
      Will Jenny avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in? Will she find peace, joy and love?

NOTE: Perhaps the book will be available from Elk Lake Publishers before the end of the month. Get your order in early!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

No App will replace a friend

About the Author

Cari has worn numerous hats in life. She proudly wore the uniform of the US Air Force. After serving, she worked as a critical care RN for almost a decade. She also owned her own Personal Chef and Catering company for six years. Finally, she chose to turn her attention back to her family.

Closing her business hasn’t made her a couch potato. She cooks at the weekly Wednesday night dinners for her church, and volunteers at the Cross Talk CafĂ© in support of the Celebrate Recovery church ministry on Friday nights. She has volunteered her time as a Mentor Mom for two MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups. When she’s not busy in the church doors, she’s happily entertaining people in her home.

She not only has a passion for writing, but also for serving. She views writing as a form of service for people from all walks of life. Jesus used story-telling to convey life principles, why can’t we do the same?

She lives in southern Illinois with her ridiculously patient husband of twenty four years, three children, and her two Chihuahua guard dogs, Snoopy and Stanley. Faith, Hope, Love, and Chocolate is her first novel.

About the Book

Run, run, run...

Run away. That’s what Faith Strauss has done for twenty years. She was destroyed by one tragic event. An event so horrific, she didn’t share it with anyone, not even her husband. She buried it deep inside, where it can’t hurt anyone.

If God is good, then where was He? Why didn’t He stop it? How can she trust Him ever again?

Run, run, run…

She’s not good enough. Never has been. Never will be. She could lose it all again, if she’s not careful. She married, had children, and carved out a life for herself. But Fear is her ever-present companion, always reminding her never to reach too far, or too high.

Run, run, run…

God has another plan. A plan that she never saw, even though she has walked it her entire life. Will the unexpected exposure of her secret and the truth behind it restore her or destroy her all over again?

It’s time to stop running.

There’s No App for That

By Chef Cari aka Cari Schaeffer

In our society, there seems to be an App for everything. There are Apps to count your steps, count your calories, and one that even tells you when to go to the bathroom during a movie so you won’t miss an important scene (I saw that on the news recently – it’s real!). So many people are so plugged in that they’ve tuned out the world around them.
I’ve spent countless times in a variety of situations where I’ve had to wait. As I look around the room at my fellow human beings waiting with me, invariably the vast majority have their faces glued to tiny screens. It’s unnerving, but not surprising, that I also see an increasing number of children with their faces glued to tiny screens. After all, they will mimic what they see.
I don’t foresee that there will ever be an App that can replace a real, present friend.
I have chosen to be counter cultural. I don’t own a smart phone and I don’t plan to get one any time soon. When I do, probably because there won’t be another option available, I will not enable email or social media alerts. I prefer to cultivate REAL relationships with people who are REAL in my life. That’s not to say that social media outlets have no place – I am connected with real friends and family that way, too. However, that will never replace true relationships.
Case in point, I had a wonderful lunch with a wonderful friend yesterday. She’s a woman of culture with fine tastes and not a snobby bone to be found in her body. She’s suffered much in her life and yet has emerged triumphant through multiple tragedies. She told me that she believes God has given her life as a gift and she intends to live it to the fullest. I wholeheartedly agree with her and plan to do the same. How about you?
When I am with my friend(s), I will always put my phone on silent and away so that they have my full attention at all times. That’s what voicemail is for. Texts can wait, too. They are worthy of that courtesy and I hope they feel the same way about me. There have been a few times when I haven’t been given the same consideration. I have tried in a tactful manner to let them know how I felt. Those who aren’t receptive tend to fade as friends. I bear them no ill will and wish them only the best. But I prefer my friendships to be deeper and better than that.
If you’re one of those who are addicted to technology, please step back and reconsider. Cultivate true friendships in your life and teach your children to interact face to face with people rather than a screen.
Remember, there is no App that can replace a Friend.

Friday, July 11, 2014

DO YOU KEEP SECRETS? Author Gail Sattler knows secrets.

By Gail Sattler

Have you ever had a secret that you couldn't tell?
I think everyone has at least one secret, but there are a million or more reasons that people have for keeping those secrets.
Some secrets are fun  - like a surprise gift or birthday party for someone special.
Some aren't so fun - you know something that would embarrass someone else if it was told. Or maybe it could be you that would be embarrassed.

When the secret is for a good reason, and fun, it's even more fun when the secret can be told - like that surprise birthday party.  But then, the fun part is not holding the secret, but finally being able to reveal it.

What does God think about secrets?
Many things, actually. 
First, if you are trusted with a secret, then keep it
Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not reveal another's secret Prov 25:9
If you are doing something good, keep it in perspective - don't shout your good deeds from the rooftops, because then you've given yourself all the reward you will get. There are lots of references for that.
But here's one I really like
God will bill bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecc 12:14

God doesn't say not to have secrets. He just says, have the right ones.

I won't ask what your secrets are. I hope they are for the right reasons.

Gail Sattler

From Gail's new book from Heartsong:

Serious Comedy, no kidding!
The Best Man's Secret – Can you figure out Dave’s
You might like Gail's other books, too:
Aug 2013-The Path to Piney  Meadows - 4 1/2 star review Romantic Times
Feb 2013-When Pigs and Parrots Fly - Is love really for the birds?
Also-Take The Trophy and Run! -Can you find Gnorman?
>From March 2012
-Seattle Cinderella -

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

LET'S EAT GRANDMA: The Importance of Proofreading

The Importance of Proofreading

by Kathy Ide

            Have you seen the plaques and T-shirts that say:

                        Let’s Eat Grandma.
                        Let’s Eat, Grandma.
                        Commas Save Lives.

            I love that! It shows how one tiny bit of punctuation can change the entire meaning and tone of a sentence.
            You may think that as long as you’ve got life-changing content in your nonfiction manuscript, or an intriguing story with lots of conflict and interesting characters in your fiction manuscript, that should be enough. And yes, content and story are extremely important. But no matter how good those things are, you’ll be running some pretty big risks if you don’t bother proofreading your manuscript carefully for typos, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies … and learning the industry-standard rules regarding punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling.
            OK, you won’t be putting your grandmother’s life on the line or joining a tribe of cannibals. But tiny mistakes in your writing can have disastrous consequences. Here are my top ten:

1. Mechanical errors can decrease your chance of acceptance by a traditional publisher.

2. Mechanical errors can cause miscommunication.

3. Mechanical errors can cause confusion.

4. Mechanical errors can give an unprofessional appearance to publishers and readers.

5. Mechanical errors can be embarrassing.

6. Mechanical errors may cause readers to take you and your message less seriously.

7. Mechanical errors can affect the sales of your book.

8. Mechanical errors could cost you money.

9. Mechanical errors can be distracting.

10. Mechanical errors can give you a poor reputation.

Professionalism Is Key
            If you’re writing just for family and friends, it may not matter so much whether every comma is in exactly the right place or if you have a few typos here and there. But if you want to get your book published in today’s highly competitive commercial market, you need every edge you can get. If you expect people to buy what you write, you need to take the time to do it right.
If you have a hard time finding typos, inconsistencies, and “PUGS” errors in your writing, consider hiring a professional proofreader. If you go to and fill out the form for Authors Seeking Editors, you’ll be connected with established, professional editors who can make your manuscript shine.

            A comma may not save Grandma’s life. But a careful proofread might make a life-or-death difference for your manuscript.

Kathy Ide, author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, is a full-time freelance editor/mentor for new writers, established authors, and book publishers. She speaks at writers’ conferences across the country. She is the founder and director of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network and the Christian Editor Network. For more about Kathy, visit

Book Summary
Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, by professional freelance author, editor, and proofreader Kathy Ide, is the essential go-to tool for aspiring and experienced writers and editors. This book includes all of the material from Ide’s popular Polishing the PUGS book (now out of print), with added PUGS guidelines and helpful tips from multi-published authors on how to catch typos and other common mistakes.

In Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, Kathy Ide identifies the industry-standard references for books, magazines, and newspapers (which are different from the guidelines for other types of writing, such as college term papers). Using these official references, she highlights the most common mistakes writers make in the areas of punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling (for which she uses the acronym PUGS). She also includes guidelines from The Christian Writer's Manual of Style for authors and editors who work in the inspirational market.

Sunday, July 6, 2014



Your name becomes your identity

Excerpt from the book, Imagine the Future You

July 7 is last day to comment about how God has used your past to bless your future and enter to win a copy of the audiobook

Print and Kindle copies available at 

Join Audible and get a free audiobook at

       “Hey, Joseph!” said the baker, his two chins bobbing in sync with his laughter. “I heard you had a tumble with Potiphar’s wife. Way to go! Who would have thought it?”
      “Since Potiphar committed all he has into your care, I guess that was all that was left!” the lanky butler added. His cold, accusing eyes mocked.
      Anger and embarrassment shot through Joseph. His chains tinkled as he shifted position where he sat on the hard stone floor. “You are wrong. I did not do that great wickedness and sin against Potiphar, myself, or God.”
      “You worried about God when you could have had her?” the baker said, chuckling, his round face showing he didn’t believe Joseph.
      “I decided long ago to follow God’s will for my life, and I haven’t changed my mind,” Joseph answered firmly as he tried to stand.
     “You are a fool,” the baker shot back at Joseph as he and the butler walked away, heads together and laughing.
     Joseph stared after the pair, the chains on his wrists and ankles causing his whole body to ache. He wondered why the two men accused him. After all, they offended the king of Egypt and were sentenced to prison, too. Joseph had no idea what they had done.
     One day weeks later, Joseph noticed the butler and the baker didn’t pick up their bowls of food when it was time to eat. By now, Joseph’s chains were gone because once again Joseph found favor with his captors. But he was still a prisoner. He picked up the bowls and then slowly walked to where he’d heard the      “Here’s breakfast,” Joseph said. “You should eat.”
     “It’s nothing but swill,” spat the baker, holding his head in his hands.
      As Joseph held out the bowl, a loud groan rushed from the butler’s throat. His fingers ran nervously through his dirty curly hair.
     “What’s wrong?” asked Joseph.
      “We’ve had some terrible nightmares,” the baker answered, adding his cry of anguish. “They seem so real we need to have someone tell us what they mean, but there is no interpreter.”
      The butler stopped his guttural groans and took two deep breaths. “I’m sure the dreams have a meaning. Do you know anyone…? Hey, Joseph! You talk with God, don’t you? Sure you do!” He got up from the floor and patted Joseph on the back.
     Quickly the baker tried to stand. His humpty-dumpty body rocked back and forth three times before Joseph reached and pulled him to his feet.
     Panting, the baker put his arm around Joseph and let out a blast of putrid breath. “Yes, Joe, old buddy.  We’ve been stuck together in this prison a long time. You are such a wonderful fellow to keep on speaking terms with God! You’ve been a good cell-block mate. Haven’t even seen you in any of the fights. Now the captain of the guards has you serving us, and you do it well. Would you like to hear my dream?”
      “And mine?” added the butler.
      All the noise brought a crowd of other prisoners. They stood, watching expectantly. The butler and the baker stared at each other, then Joseph. The butler stepped forward and whispered in Joseph’s ear for a long time. Then the baker stood at Joseph’s other ear, whispering and nervously shaking one leg.
     Afterward, Joseph turned away and lifted his hands toward heaven. His lips moved, but no sound came out of his mouth.
     Finally, Joseph turned to look at the butler. “Within three days, Pharaoh shall give you back your job. Please remember me and ask that I be released from this prison.”
     “Thank you! Oh, thank you!” A deep laugh rumbled from the butler. He shook hands with Joseph and some of those watching. ‘I will be sure to give them your message.”
     Then Joseph looked solemnly at the baker. “In three days, Pharaoh will hang you.”
     The baker stood speechless, his mouth dropped open and his eyes filled with terror. Then obscenities flowed from his fat, drooling lips. When those were spent, his deep, wrenching sobs echoed in every prison cell.
      Three days later, the butler was back at work and the baker was dead.
And Joseph’s release didn’t come. The butler didn’t tell Pharaoh about Joseph’s request.
     Three men. The butler and the baker had names, of course, but they were not included in the biblical account. But even if we knew their names, they probably wouldn’t be worth mentioning or remembering.
     But we won’t forget Joseph. Today’s youth would have called Joseph “hot” in his youth. I despise the term myself, but you know by the way Potiphar’s wife flung herself at the young man his handsome face could put girls’ hearts in a flutter.
     Some biblical scholars believe Joseph lived about four thousand years before Christ.[1] That’s a long time ago for his name to come up now. Even though Joseph has no last name, his name will never be forgotten. Joseph is on the minds and lips of many people even today because of who he was and what he did.
     Who could forget the sound of Joseph’s weeping in the desert cistern as he heard his brothers planning to kill him and then deciding to sell him as a slave? His years in prison suffering because he wouldn’t tumble into bed with Potiphar’s wife, who then ripped her dress and accused him of rape? Or after Joseph’s promotion to governor, his heart-wrenching sobs when he recognized his brothers bowing before him in Pharaoh’s Egyptian palace asking for food?
      Or can any Bible student forget how Joseph forgave those brothers and fell on their necks, weeping and kissing them?
      And what Joseph said? “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”[2]
            Our tongues still speak Joseph’s name with respect because of who he was and what he did.
Joseph’s name remained on a small pyramid in Egypt, according to Bible historians and archaeologists, until Moses led the Israelites in their exodus. When Joseph knew he was dying, he prophesied God would take them from Egypt back to their own land, and when they went asked them to take his bones with them. The Bible says the Israelites took the bones back to Israel, and Joseph was reburied in Shechem. That’s where the Jews of modern times found a tomb they identified as Joseph’s in 1921. His name appeared on the tomb in the heart of Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria. But then on February 23, 2003, the carved stone over the grave was destroyed and the tomb vandalized and filled with burning garbage. In February 2008, vandals set burning tires inside the tomb. Yet, until September 2008, Jews journeyed to the tomb to pray, although         Muslims have attempted to make it a holy site to Islam.[3]
      Despite the damage to his tomb, Joseph’s name is remembered—not because it is so unusual, but because it belonged to an unusual man.
What about your name? Your name has already appeared in many places. It first appeared on your birth certificate and the wristband you wore in the hospital after you were born. The newspaper might have run your name with the births. It certainly was on the birth announcements your parents mailed to friends and relatives.
Your doctor has a whole file that begins with your name. The school has files with you as the star. If and when you get a job, there will be files on you.
The government has archives on you, beginning with your Social Security number. The driver’s license bureau will keep records under your name. Your name will appear on loans, titles, and deeds.
Your name will be in the news in many cities if you make the honor roll or you receive awards or do notable things. Your name will be listed with marriage licenses and your engagement and wedding announcements may be in the newspaper—but hopefully it won’t be in the divorce column. If you are in a serious accident or arrested after age eighteen, your name would be in the news.
If you become a screen star, a politician, an inventor, a hero, extremely wealthy, a philanthropist, a model, a successful businessman, a writer, or just someone who voices an opinion in the right place, people will see your name. Your name could become a household word.
Mostly, however, our names are spoken more than written, as Joseph’s was. Sometimes your name just runs around in people’s heads.
For sure, unless the Lord Jesus Christ returns first or you are lost at sea or buried in an unknown tomb, someday your name will appear on a tombstone or an urn containing your ashes.
For the most part, your name reflects who you are and what you do. Today is the day to prepare for the future and decide who you will be and what you will do.
That brings us to an important book where you’d want your name to appear.
Your success at achieving the ultimate life begins with your name in the Book of Life, the “Who’s Who” of who is going to live forever in heaven.
How do you get in?
Different from some other Who’s Who books, you aren’t required to pay a fee or buy that edition. An entry is free of cost to you—but a huge amount already has been paid in blood for your name to be included. That’s called redemption because we were born into sin and the penalty for sin is death.
Jesus told his disciples to rejoice that their names were written in heaven.[4] The last book of the Bible, Revelation, has multiple references to the “Book of Life.”[5]
Revelation chapter 20 describes the vision the Apostle John saw of the Great White Throne Judgment: “I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to things written in the books.”
 In chapter 21, we’re given a description of heaven that “has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, there will be no night, nothing evil will be allowed to enter, and the only humans who will be there are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s (Jesus) Book of Life.”
It all begins when we make a decision to believe, and when we repent of our sins and accept the redemption, the abundant life, Jesus promised.
That’s when your name becomes special.

Copyright Ada Brownell December 2013

[1] You can read about Joseph and his family in Genesis 30–50. Even the creation account didn’t use this much space!
[2] Genesis 5:19–21 NKJ
[3] David M. Rohl and Dr. Thomas S. McCall, Th.D., “Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest,” Levitt Letter, June 1999.
[4] Luke 10:20
[5] Rev. 3:5; Rev. 20:12; Rev. 21:27