Category Archives: Writing Happenings

Luke Murphy Presents: Kiss and Tell

This novel took me 15 years to write. Well, not exactly, but…1425368_517024845062353_568710561_o

Even though Dead Man’s Hand was my first published novel, it’s not the first book I wrote. Kiss & Tell is my “baby”. It’s the first book I ever even attempted to write. I started writing the novel in the winter of 2000, while playing hockey down in Oklahoma.

A lot of circumstances surround this novel, and it’s the reason I started writing in the first place. This novel, and all of my writing, happened by “chance”. I was playing professional hockey in Oklahoma, and was struck in the eye with a stick in a preseason game. That injury ended my season before it began.

My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, was attending a French college in Montreal, and her English professor assigned the class the task of writing a short story.

My girlfriend knew that I was an avid reader, so she asked me if I would help her develop the story, which I did. I had so much fun with the project, that when we had finished, I took one of the characters we had created and started writing my own story.

I wrote Kiss & Tell in six months, but it was nowhere even close to being publishable. Actually, it stunk. It was a practice story for me, so I left it sitting in my computer, and started writing a second book.

After I published Dead Man’s Hand in 2012, I decided to reopen Kiss & Tell and take another look. My first reaction…it was bad, written by a first-time, newbie, amateur author. But I loved the plot, cast of characters, and the potential. I didn’t want to give up on this story.

So I took everything I’d learned about the craft of writing and the industry and put it into editing Kiss & Tell. The revisions completely changed the entire book.

After I’d completed it in 2001, Kiss & Tell was written from the point of view of Jessica Philips, the primary murder suspect in the Ken Anderson investigation, and the story was told from Jessica’s first person POV.

The Kiss & Tell that came out in 2015 is told from Detective Charlene Taylor’s point of view, written in third person. Although the plot never changed, some of the characters and scenes did.

A major scene/twist change that occurred?

In the original Kiss & Tell, the identity of the Celebrity Slayer was never revealed. I was planning on turning this CS plot into a series, extending the investigation through a number of books. But, taking into consideration a suggestion from one of my editors, I decided to change that. But don’t think I don’t have more plans for the Celebrity Slayer, in upcoming Charlene Taylor books.

But that’s for another time, and another place.

Buy the book here: http://myBook.to/Kiss Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00072]

Happy Anniversary The Rising Muse

The reality is that I’ve been so busy and this date snuck up on me. I can’t believe that I started this journey 5 years ago. I have been writing since I was  14 years old, but on a day like this day I decided that it was time to share what God had given me.

Today is not a day to congratulate me, as all I did was share. Today is a day of gratitude for all of you who have come to shared with me your own experiences, my good and growth opportunity moment. I’m grateful for all of you who have supported this dream and have allowed me to meet so many wonderful people.

Today I celebrate YOU!

anniversary

 

As a token of my appreciation to all my readers, my latest book “A Brother’s Vow” will be #99cents from today until through Sunday.  It’s yours to enjoy!

 

Thank you

ABV

Tsunami

By Holly Michael

Landing in South India, ten days after the 2004 tsunami, my husband said to our contact there, “Send us to the worst affected area, where no agency or person has yet provided help.”

Already weary from nearly thirty hours of travel, I mentally geared up for mission work. My husband, a pastor and native of Tamil Nadu, South India hadtsunami lived and worked in the affected region for more than twenty years and was aware of the living conditions of the fisher folks in the remote seaside villages. He was certain we’d find decimation and desperation.

Back home in Arkansas, we had raised a large sum of money during a week-long, major fund-raising event. As a freelancer for a Guideposts magazine, I planned to cover the story of a teenage survivor. My husband’s predictions rang true and I had no idea how difficult, yet fulfilling, this experience would be.

Ten years later, we are now preparing to head to South India for a follow-up visit. I plan to write a “then and now” book and release it on the anniversary of the tsunami: December 26th, 2014.

Ten years ago, we provided immediate assistance for the villages and people also helped many tsunami orphans. We arranged for the village headman to bring the children to the local bank where we identified them and put funds in CD’s to be collected ten years later (2014). This would give them money to begin their lives as adults. We also provided help to other small villages by purchasing boats for them.

I’m excited to return and see how the children—now adults—are doing and discover their future plans. I’m also curious to see how the once decimated villages have recovered.

On the ten-year anniversary, December 26th, 2014, I’ll publish, “Tsunami 2004: Then and Now. Devastation from the Sea. Help from Beyond. (Working Title).

It’s said that you should write what you know. This is true. Traveling to India several times since 2004, I have enjoyed and absorbed the cultural experiences and have since used them in my writing.

This past July, I released Crooked Lines, my debut novel, inspired by stories told by my husband and his friends who left their villages in India as teenagers to join a religious order. Crooked Lines threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. They struggle with spirituality through despair and deceptions in search of truth. I’m so pleased that Crooked Lines had reached #1 in Inspirational Fiction Category on Amazon.com.

Here’s my back cover blurb: On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over her little sister’s death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace. Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling. Pushing through diverse cultural and religious milieus, he labors toward his goals, while wrong turns and bad choices block Rebecca from hers. Traveling similar paths and bridged across oceans through a priest, the two desire peace and their divine destiny. But vows and blind obedience at all costs must be weighed…and buried memories, unearthed.

Without giving a spoiler, some scenes from the novel were taken from my own experiences in South India after the tsunami. I’m also working on my sequel to Crooked Lines that I hope to release in February.

Maybe your travels won’t take you to far-away places, but we all travel along many emotional pathways and carry unique experiences in our hearts. As writers we should go back to the places of decimation, see how far we’ve come, and use this in our writing to help others. No matter what our background or culture—like in Crooked Lines—we all share similar emotional experiences. Matters of the heart are universal and worth writing about.

book

TWO CONTINENTS. TWO  CULTURES. TWO SOULS
  …SEEK HOPE & A FUTURE

On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over
her little sister’s death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace. Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling. Pushing through diverse cultural and religious milieus, he labors toward his goals, while wrong turns and bad choices block Rebecca from hers.
Traveling similar paths and bridged across oceans through a priest, the two desire peace and their divine destiny. But vows and blind obedience at all costs must be  weighed…and buried memories, unearthed. Crooked Lines, a beautifully crafted debut novel, threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. Compelling characters struggle with spirituality through despair and
deceptions in search of truth.

hollyHolly Michael
Website: http://www.hollymichael.com/
Blog: www.writingstraight.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHollyMichael
Twitter:@hollymichael

link: https://twitter.com/HollyMichael
www.HollyMichael.com
Debut Novel, Crooked Lines, now released! http://amzn.to/1jZsrLH.
 

A Biblical Definition of Wisdom

How do you define wisdom? For some it’s measured by a person’s level of knowledge and learning or by one’s level of education. Dictionaries define wisdom as philosophic and scientific learning. Other definitions of wisdom include sound judgment, good insight, or common sense. Native Americans believe wisdom is earned only after living a long life that brings learning and experience.

These definitions have merit, but they fall short of a biblical definition of wisdom. Biblical wisdom can be defined as the ability to see things from God’s point of view. As Christians, our wisdom grows when we understand and accept God’s point of view. The same is true of nations; they show wisdom when they align their policies with God’s view.

Without wisdom people can find themselves in trouble and countries risk disaster. The further a nation strays from God’s point of view, the closer it comes to being a nation under judgment.

We live in a nation that prides itself on being “one nation under God.” We ask for God’s blessing in songs like “God Bless America” by Irving Berlin. Our Supreme Court opens every session with “God save the United States and this Honorable Court.” The president and other politicians pandering for our votes give speeches that end with “God bless America.”

But what does it mean to be “one nation under God?” Have the words become merely a patriotic slogan? Do they have value only in times of national crises, when we feel threatened? Are we a nation asking for God’s protection and blessings while turning away from His point of view?

As a nation “under God” do we see things from God’s point of view when shaping national policies? Or have we lost our wisdom as a nation?  When we create polices on hunger, homelessness, poverty, protecting the environment and marriage, are we following God’s point of view – or a political agenda? What does it say about our values when one of every fifty children lacks sufficient food, in a nation that wastes 40 percent of its food? These are important questions that must be asked if we value being a nation “under God” because the answers may point to a nation moving away from God’s point of view and losing its wisdom.

Christians cannot escape our responsibility to hold those we elect to public office accountable for crafting polices that reflect God’s point of view. If our nation is losing its wisdom – its ability to see things from God’s point of view – we have a responsibility to advocate for change and to elect leaders who believe that “one nation under God” is not merely a political slogan but a call to action that will bring our policies into line with God’s point of view.

Our Founding Fathers knew that we could not indefinitely exist apart from God’s point of view. George Mason warned that providence would punish national sins with national calamities. Thomas Jefferson said “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and that his justice cannot sleep forever.” These great men understood that our nation’s future rests on its commitment to live by the words “one nation under God” and that we must create national polices that reflect His point of view rather than policies that conform to a political agenda.

Have we lost our wisdom as a nation – our ability to see things from God’s point of view? Ultimately the answer to that question will determine if we are headed toward being a nation under judgment. Read more about a biblical definition of wisdom in A Nation Under Judgment. The book is available on Amazon and at http://www.anationunderjudgment.com

JPEG Cover

 

“ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO HIM WHO BELIEVES”

John 2:1-11 is the narrative recounting the first recorded miracle of Jesus at the wedding in Galilee.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

John 2:7 (NIV)

Everyone has a designated time and place when they are to connect with their God-given purpose and the plan God has for them.  There are times when we try to advance too soon and other times, we sit back waiting and possibly missing the proper time.  Based upon the scripture, someone miscalculated and the wine supply ran short, to which, Mary, the mother of Jesus looked to her son for a solution.  He replied to her, “My time has not yet come.”

Mary, didn’t let that stop her, she issued a directive to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”  What was he to do, his mother had now placed him on front street, guess what, whether he wanted to believe it or not, it was show time, his time had arrived.

During these days, weddings were carried out over a week-long period and conducted as festivals with everyone around being invited.  So, running out of anything during these times of elaborate celebrations would be considered, highly embarrassing and violated the laws of hospitality.

Mary saw a potential heartfelt problem for the hosts and looked to her heart, her son, who she knew was more than a mere human man to find a resolve.  Jesus’ mission is/was to save mankind by entering into a personal relationship, so by stepping up outside of his perceived time indicated how he would go about in his assignment – helping others, speaking with true authority, and being relational with those around him.

As servants of Christ, we should follow the command given in John 2:7, to fill the jars with water and fill them to the brim.  It should be our goal to be obedient to Christ as we do our part to the best of our abilities, while trusting and believing in Him, to reveal His glory through our obedience.

We should believe He can do more with what we offer to Him than what we ourselves can.  When He does it, He produces the best, choice miracles that defy the odds.  What He produced was fresh and new, it had never been done before.  It was impressive and abundant for all to enjoy.

At that wedding, He launched His miraculous ministry his time of preparation time was over.

What He did that day confirmed the belief in the hearts of His disciples and it should confirm in yours.  I want to encourage you today to fill your pots and fill them to the brim and then take an evaluation of those things God has placed within your heart and pray about the timing of His plan for your life.

I admonish you to align yourselves with Him and follow His commands and don’t wait until you’re close to running out or being on empty or even saving the best for last.  Do what He says now, trust and believe Him, and watch what will happen next…it will be nothing short of a miracle!

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO HIM WHO BELIEVES

 

IMG_5_smallShakira R. Thompson, a natural born storyteller has submitted to her God-given talents and have allowed them to transform her into an author, publisher, and entrepreneur.

She is the founder of Believer’s Choice Media, an inspirational content company dedicated to encouraging believers to live the life they were created to live on earth and beyond.

She has recently launched her debut novel, “High Noon Justice,” a series based upon Psalms 37 to a loving high-noon-justiceand accepting audience.  These days, Shakira now believes she is living her life according to Ephesians 2:10:

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (KJV)

With a renewed sense of purpose, Shakira is ready and prepared to not only find the plan of God for her life but also fulfill it.  Shakira is a proud Alumni of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida where she holds a B.S in Business Administration as well as an M.B.A. with a concentration in Supply Chain Management.

Born and raised in Fernandina Beach, Florida, she now resides in Orlando, Florida with her family.  www.shakirathompson.com and believerschoicemedia.com

Book Release: Farming, Friends & Fried Bologna Sandwiches

Join me celebrate with my author friend Renea Winchester in her launch of her new book  Farming, Friends & Fried Bfarmologna Sandwiches by Mercer University Press.

If you are in the Atlanta area on September 6th, please come to the book launch (See attached invitation). Bring the family, bring your friends.  If you are out of town on that date, the City of Roswell is hosting an event September 13th from 1-3 pm.

Farming, Friends, and Fried Bologna Sandwiches is filled with stories about neighbors, friends, and visitors from as far away as Puerto Rico, Farming captures the small-town community feel that was once prevalent and is rapidly vanishing. Farming, Friends, and Fried Bologna Sandwiches is chocked full of easy-to-follow recipes and tips that will benefit both the inexperienced and veteran farm2gardener. In short, it is a love letter, a Southern-Style “Thank You” to the people who make the South one of the best places in the world to call home.

About the Author Renea Winchester is the daughter of Appalachia who is passionate about literacy and growing heritage flowers and vegetables. She rescues flowers from development and distributes them throughout the community. She grows her great-grandfather’s heritage corn and personally grinds it into cornmeal. Recently she raised money to help preserve the historic Monteith Farmhouse in Dillsboro NC. Her writing has won many awards including the Wilma Dykeman Appalachian Heritage, and the Denny Plattner award. Her first book, In the Garden with Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes earned a nomination for the prestigious Southern Independent Bookseller Alliance Award. Contact her for an interview at renea.winchester@yahoo.com Where to Buy?: Purchase Copies at Amazon, B&N, or have your local Independent Bookseller reserve a copy for you. All Bookstores can order copies for you. Mercer University Press offers a 20% Discount and FREE shipping when you ask for the Facebook discount. Their number is 866-895-1742.  E-copies will release late fall. If you haven’t read my first book about Billy, download it here

farm 3

http://www.reneawinchester.com

 

Book Review: Promises of the Heart

PoH“Promises of the heart” is the first book of author’s Scarlett Rains Sister’s of the Heart Series. The book setting is in London England and it’s a historical fiction. I’m not a fan of historical fiction, but this book was able to capture my attention. To me it was ironic to have the main character to be a sweet precocious child, when in my own books I chose that name for an adult serial killer. So the first thing was that I was interested in seeing how this Amelia would react to her surroundings.

Amelia’s behaviors are way advanced for her age and the time in which she was living, which got her in trouble with the adults in charge of her. The loss of her parents creates a grand distress in her life as she now is not sure of who would take care of her. She ends up being assigned Rachel as a governess. As she grows she starts receiving unwanted attention from the opposite sex, which confuses her. She wonders about the real intentions of her cousins and her own feelings for them.

I don’t want to reveal more, but the end leaves you looking for the second book immediately. It’s a nice read cuddled up in the sofa in front of the fireplace.

Follow the Tour

Jan 27th
Jan 28th
Feb 8th

Feb 9th

Feb 10th

Sister’s of the Heart

Follow the Tour

Jan 27th
Jan 28th
Feb 8th

Feb 9th

Feb 10th

Clue Review

Feb 11thThe Rising Muse

Feb 12th

Feb 13th
 Feb 14th

Enter for chance to win fun prizes!

Thank you for your comment.

Interview with Award Winning Author Kimberley Payne

 

Kimberley, welcome to The Rising Muse. Tell us about yourself

I am an award-winning author and a member of The Word Guild, Inscribe Christian Writer’s Fellowship, and John 3:16 Marketing Network.I combine my Kimberley Payne, authorteaching experience and love of writing to create educational materials for mothers and children about family, fitness, science and faith.

 And I know you just published a new book. What can you tell us about the book?

My latest project is “Adam’s Animals”, a children’s activity book that features over 40 animals mentioned in the Bible and little-known facts about each. It is the second book in the Science and Faith Matters series. The first book, “Trees of the Book – Learning from God’s Creation”, is a colourful introduction to trees, leaves and their corresponding Bible stories.

So tell me what audience did you had in mind when you wrote this book?

“Adam’s Animals” is ideal for 6 to 9 year olds, for home or school use and classroom sharing in grades 1-3 to supplement the Life Sciences Curriculum on Animal Life.

 What was your inspiration for this book?

Years ago, my daughter wrote a little book called, “Did you know…fascinating and fun facts about animals around the world” as a fundraiser to go to camp. I helped her with it and loved discovering new things about God’s creation.

Do you have a favorite animal and why that one?

 I loved learning about the leopard. This big cat can climb trees, run fast, and swim. He’s powerful and smart. My kind of creature!

 Did you find anything particularly difficult in writing this book?

There was a ton of research. Not only did I have to dig through the Bible to discover the animals mentioned, but then I had to research each individually to uncover five unusual facts.


What do you hope this book accomplishes?

I hope that “Adam’s Animals” will fuel the desire for children to read the Bible and to also learn more about the animals that God created.

Where can we find you?

Website: http://www.kimberleypayne.com

Blog: http://www.scienceandfaithmatters.wordpress.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/KimberleyPayne.Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FitForFaith

 Sample artwork - antMost important, where can we find the book?

This is the exciting part! The book is still in manuscript form. I am hoping to bring the project to life with the direct support of friends, colleagues and family.

 As the book creator, I have set a funding goal of $3500, with a deadline of February 28th, 2014. If you like my book idea, you can pledge any amount of money to make it happen.

 As the book backer, you choose from a number of rewards based on the amount of financial support you pledge. For example, backers who pledge a minimum of $5, will receive a choice of one of two of my e-books: 1) Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual and physical health, OR 2) Women of Strength – a devotional to improve spiritual and physical health. Backers who pledge a minium of $15 will receive an autographed copy of “Adam’s Animals”. Backers who pledge a minimum of $175 will be listed on the “Dedication” page at the back of the book PLUS will receive an autographed copy of “Adam’s Animals”.

 Backing “Adam’s Animals” is more than just giving money. Writers need encouragement and you would be supporting my dream of creating a valuable resource for children and parents.

 To support the creation of “Adam’s Animals” please visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adamsanimals/adams-animals-a-childrens-activity-book

 Short url for easy sharing: http://kck.st/19NBYR6

Thank you Kimberley for your visit and much success with Adam’s Animals

Until next time, be blessed.

 

Book Review: Shadow Stalker

Do you guys remember the movie Jerry McGuire, when Jerry declares his love for his wife and she tells him “you had me at hello” That’s the best way to describe this book.  As a crime mysteries lover, this book just sucked me in. I dare you to read the prologue and not read the rest of the book. A little spoiler if you allow me. In that prologue there’s a scene and the author says something like…and she saw her mother’s head explode in front of her eyes. I was sold. I know, it sounds morbid, but it is that good.

I sat patiently for hours at a doctor’s appointment without complaining because I was so into the book that I was in no rush to be called in. I think has been a long time since I have been upset that a book ended, but the good news is that it’s a series so I’m definitely going for book 2, because I need to know what happens. So I take this opportunity to tell the author to hurry up and write it…LOL!

In a nutshell, this is the story of a woman who watches her parent’s being killed as a child. She’s protected by family members who adopt her for a while. She grows to become a private investigator, which sometimes gets her in trouble. The people who killed her parents are after her and now she needs to use her skills to protect herself, but also to protect her current investigation and the investigation of her new partner.

I give this one five stars with no hesitation.  I’ll keep you posted when I read the next one.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,615 other followers