Blog Archives

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.

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Letter to the Unknown Author

By Karen Baney

Dear Unknown Author,

I know the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve poured into your book. The late nights. The early mornings. The crazy moments when the idea for your next chapter hits you and you can hardly wait to get time to sit down and pour it all out.

It’s your masterpiece, your joy. You wrote it with purpose and determination.

The happiest day of your life, next to your wedding day and the birth of your kids, was the birth of your book. Oh how you shouted for joy when you first saw your name on the cover of your book! Then when it became available in bookstores online or brick and mortar, you could hardly contain your excitement. Your baby, your masterpiece was finally out there in the world.

Then the excitement faded. Week after week you wondered if anyone would buy your book. Weeks turned to months. Months to years. The next book you wrote was with a little less enthusiasm—containing an underlying fear that maybe you aren’t really cut out for this whole writing thing.

I know what you’re saying. Reader, how can you know me so well? Where have you been? Did you read my book?

I would love to read it. I’m sure it is really good. I would love to go on the journey you so cleverly crafted with painstaking details.

Just one problem, dear unknown author: You are unknown to me.

You see, I only have a few minutes of time between picking up the kids from soccer and getting dinner on the stove—maybe we’ll just stop for fast food tonight—that it’s hard for me to take the time to find you. I have a blog that I read once every few weeks, and you’re not there. When I browse through my favorite genre, you’re not there. When I talk to friends, they haven’t heard of you either. You don’t show up in my Twitter stream.

I do like trying new authors, I really do. But with 18,000 other religious fiction authors vying for my attention, what have you done to get mine?

Maybe someday I’ll hear about you from a friend. Maybe my book club will bring you to my attention. Until then, you will remain an unknown author to me.

Blessings,

Busy Reader

What are you doing to stand out among the 18,000? Is your publish-it-and-they-will come strategy getting you nowhere? If so, unknown author, it’s time to stand out. It’s time to learn about marketing. Get out there. Be bold. Be seen. Be a name and not a number.

Karen_closeup_left_medBest-selling self-published author, Karen Baney, enjoys sharing information to help authors learn about the Business of Writing.  She holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University and has worked in various business related career fields for the past 20 years.  She writes Christian Historical Fiction and Contemporary Romance novels.  To learn more about her novels visit her website: karenbaney.com. Authors can find tips and information on self-publishing and marketing at: www.myauthorservices.com.

Karen and her husband, Jim, also run several online businesses.  They make their home in Gilbert, AZ, with their two dogs.

Connect with Karen on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.10 Keys Cover Med

Not sure how to start marketing your book? Check out Karen’s new book just for authors: 10 Keys to Ebook Marketing Success. Now available on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Keys-Ebook-Marketing-Success-ebook/dp/B00B2YUQ16

For great marketing and self-publishing advice, visit MyAuthorServices.com.

Meme What???

Oh wow, my dear Sonia from Doing the Write Thing has considered me worthy of the Plastic Fantastic Memetastic Blog Award!!.  As excited as I am to receive my first blog award, I’m not sure what I’m being awarded for.

I’m not sure why is plastic? Maybe the actual original trophy was made out of plastic. I don’t know. Then it’s fantastic, well thank you if you think that I’m fantastic, not yet, but working on it…and it’s memetastic. Meme what? what does that even mean?

My friends Google, Oxford and Webster had nothing for me this time. Even the urban dictionary had no explanation for me and the few things I read were so complex that I’m not even going to try to confuse you on that one. I was pretty disappointed especially with Oxford. Now you accepted LOL and OMG as words in the dictionary, which are abbreviations, but you don’t have the definition of memetastic. Think about that Oxford for just a minute!

Back to the celebration:

However there are rules for those who receive this precious award. Here are the rules:

  • You must proudly display the award in a post.
  • You must list 5 things about yourself and 4 of the 5 must be lies.
    (your readers must guess which one is the truth)
  • And you must then pass this prestigious award on, to 5 deserving bloggers.

I was told that truly horrible things will happen to the blogger who fails to fulfill the requirements in a timely manner (possibly involving wire cutters, zombies and/or winged cats). I’m not a superstitious person, but why spoil the fun.

Five things about me (remember four lies and a truth) This was hard, I only make up stuff for my fiction writing. You would think that it was a walk in the park. Think again.

  • I write fan/fic especially about Pokémon’s in addition to my inspirational writing.
  • I have visited at least 20 states in the US.
  • I have a thing for reality shows. I can’t get enough of them. Jersey Shore, every single housewives series, basketball wives, etc.
  • I had written seven novels in long hand and I lost them during a move.
  • My favorite pet as a child was a cat named Mimi, she was the sweetest thing.

And now for the next five victims award winners:

Alrighty then. I’ve flaunted my greatness, told you sweet little lies, asked for forgiveness and passed on my memes (hopefully I get to keep my friends).

So, dearest readers, which tales are bold-faced (as opposed to shy-faced?) lies and which one is true? let’s see who get’s it right!

Process of writing this blog

I was asked how long it usually takes me to write a blog post. The answer, it depends. I try to write often because it usually means that I’m connected to the source of my inspiration, God.  Also through the process of writing I can learn and understand the spiritual impact of my surroundings and compare it with what the Word says regarding my experiences. There are days were I can be sleeping, and I’m awaken and I just turn on my laptop and start writing and the words flow. Sometimes just a scripture or a situation triggers me to be inspired and write.  If I’m connected and inspired I can even write two or more postings in one day and save the extra ones for rainy days (days where I can’t even remember my name).

On days when I’m not inspired or not connected with God and I’m trying to write just to make sure that all my readers don’t think that I’ve fallen from the face of the earth, a post is like pulling teeth. Nothing makes me flow, nothing makes sense and I end up writing ramblings that I end up not publishing.  This is an inspirational blog, so if I have nothing to say that can enrich my reader’s lives, it’s better for me to shut and see why I don’t have anything enriching my own life that day to share.

After I write the content, I look for the specific scriptures that will exemplify what I’m talking about. I know the words in the bible but not the biblical references and that’s when biblegateway.com becomes my friend.  For example I know that the Word of God says he will renew our strength and that we will be able to fly like eagles, but I have to look up where it says that. (It’s on Isaiah 40:31 by the way)

The last part of the process is the visual additions. Looking for the perfect picture or the perfect song to add can take some time, especially when Google is not cooperative or when our internal WordPress Zemanta (an image system) thinks that we’re talking about dogs when we’re talking about burgers  and it gives you all the wrong images.

Back to the original question, how long does it take me to create and publish a post? On a good day, thirty minutes. On a hard day, which is a day when I can’t find the right or perfect images or sounds, then it can take me up to two hours in any given day.

So now you know the secret behind this blog’s writing.

Have a great day and enjoy this song!

Poll: Script vs Novel

Palace of Westminster - London, England

As always, I like to include my readers in my creative process. Right now I have a debate that I hope you guys can help me sort out. I’ve been looking into a plot. It’s a romantic comedy that for now is called “Christmas in London”. It’s the story of a New York marketing director who meets this English hotel heir, who is trying to bring his brand to the US. Imagine an English male Paris Hilton in a bad mood.

The literary challenge for me in this story is the places. Most of my stories are created in a town, an island, but not a specific place giving my readers the opportunity to imagine their own. This time I wanted to challenge myself to give a specific scenario. To prepare for this, I have inquired with a dear English friend of mine, Google (of course) and I’m looking into some research history books. So what’s the problem with this story? Keep on reading.

Last year I participated in Script Frenzy, which is coming up in April. This is where you write a script of 100 pages or more in 30 days (see a pattern here…LOL) Last year I didn’t even finish the challenge, and I was so close. I gave up at 85 pages. I’ve been encouraged to try again this year and I’m giving it serious consideration. Here’s the dilemma, should I write this plot as a novel or should I experiment with it as my Frenzy Script… What do you think? What would you like?

I have created a poll on the side of the page that I will keep up until February 28th, 2011. Your participation is encouraged and appreciated. Your comments are appreciated and well received too.

Eggs and Bunnies by the Cross

As a Christian I want to celebrate things that are related to Christ and I’ve been on the search for the truth regarding our most common holidays. Easter is around the corner and all I’ve seen is colored eggs and rabbits. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but my sixth grade teacher taught me in biology that rabbits had bunnies and hens laid eggs, so that combination alone makes no sense to me.

On the other hand, from my years in church and annual “Good Friday” movies, I never saw rabbits, bunnies, hens or eggs related to the cross of Jesus Christ. Where did this come from? I’ve asked around and nobody seems to have an answer. After much searching, my good friend Google finally led me to my answer, several articles and web pages about the traditions of Easter.

In reality we are supposed to be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the thing that distinguishes Christians from other religions and sects, it’s the fact that our Lord is alive, and not only alive, but conquered death on our behalf. Somehow in the early days of Christianity, the celebration of the Resurrection coincided with a Pagan holiday dedicated to the goddess of offspring and springtime named Eastre. The story says that earlier Christians wanted to celebrate their festivities, but it would have been dangerous and Christianity was sometimes seem as criminal, therefore they decided to modify their celebration for their own safety and to attract non believers.

Why eggs and bunnies?

 Both have been perceived as symbols of new life and fertility. This is also associated with the blooming of flowers in the spring time. There was an abundance of eggs during this time as eggs were not part of their diets during the Lenten season. The eggs were boiled for preservation purposes.

Colored Eggs

This tradition was created as another way to celebrate.  Early Christians would exchange colored eggs, kind of like Christmas and the gifts exchange. Eggs were boiled in flowers to obtain their color, that’s why when people paint eggs in modern society, they tend to use pastels.

Now, here’s the thing; at least in the United States of America it is no longer particularly dangerous to practice our Christian beliefs and to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, so I’m thinking, ‘Let’s drop the bunnies and eggs.”. I know that all big business will take offense to this particular mindset because of what holidays mean to the economy, but it’s the truth. Some people may think, “But it’s for the children”. How about if we teach the children that we have a bigger gift than the chocolate eggs and the Eater baskets? We have eternal life!

We want the future generations to live in the truth and the light. I think its time to live in that truth by knowing what our traditions really mean. Now trust me, I’m not against chocolate. I give you permission to eat all the peeps and chocolate eggs you want, but let’s make sure we are clear in our hearts about what our true celebration is this coming Sunday; the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

 

 

Resources utilized 

http://wilstar.com/holidays/easter.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Bunny

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/easterintro1.html