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Davis Bunn – Always a Great Read

If you’ve never read any of his books, then I suggest you give his books a try. I highly recommend his books. His website profile says “An internationally-acclaimed author who has sold more than six million books in sixteen languages, Davis is equal parts writer, scholar, teacher, and sportsman.”

Bunn and Janette Oke have written several books together including the Acts of Faith series.

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These are among my favorites, but Davis Bunn has written many other as well and continues to write great reads. Book of Dreams released in October 2011 is a great contemporary read. Book of DreamsThe back cover blurb can’t be beat for getting your attention “For Dr. Elena Burroughs, life is divided into two chapters—before and after the death of her husband. Today marks the point that her span of being a wife is equal to her span of being a widow. Even her success as a psychologist and her worldwide acclaim for a book on the interpretation of dreams is dimmed by an unspoken If only. Then a new patient arrives, one so private only her first name is given. Impeccably dressed and escorted by two bodyguards, Sandra recounts a frightening series of recurrent nightmares. …”

Enjoy!


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Popcorn, Peanuts, and other Addictions

And you thought this was only about writing. It’s about life, too. I’ll warn you that today’s blog is a bit of a ramble, but it is about being a writer.    Image

Get a group of writers together and they are as varied in personality as you’ll find anywhere. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard (and I said it more than once myself early on) “I’m not sure if I”m really cut out to be a writer. I keep writing but I’m not published. Is anyone going to be really interested in this stuff or should I quit? ” Most of us write because we must write. It builds up in our brains and we can’t not write or we would explode. That is all part of the writer’s life. Most of us would write whether anyone read it or not. Don’t get me wrong. It is much better if someone reads it, publishes it, and our book makes the New York Bestsellers list. I’m still working on making the list. 

Remember the old commercials for potato chips? Bet you can’t just eat one? How many hands full of popcorn and peanuts can you eat? That’s how developing story lines is for many writers. For those who are beginners, don’t give up. Let yourself give in to the urge to write another story. Reach for another potato chip and enjoy it. Enjoy the process. Some chips are over cooked. Some stories aren’t as good as others. It doesn’t stop us from going back for more. Keep writing.

Stories just keep on developing in a writers head. They won’t stop. Ideas tumble over one another. That doesn’t mean we don’t get stuck sometimes. Blocked. Either too many ideas and there is a log jam or we experience it as no idea at all. Take a deep breath because the next idea is just around the corner. Relax. Read a good book and then start writing again. Go to a movie and eat a large bucket of popcorn. Come back to your keyboard refreshed and ready to indulge your addiction to writing. 

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Free Book Giveaway!!!!

Hi everyone,

 

My publisher, Buoy Up Press, and I have a special promotion that only lasts Friday, Feb 24th and Saturday, Feb 25th, 2012. That’s this weekend!

 

Rebekah Redeemed, a part of my Women Of the Bible series is FREE on Kindle. Download for FREE. If you don’t have it yet, this is your chance to get it at no cost to you. Don’t have a Kindle? You can download a free Kindle app onto your computer or laptop and then get your copy of Rebekah Redeemed. The download of the Kindle app only takes a few minutes.

 

Rebekah Redeemed url:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0044KM0W8

 

Hope you’ll take advantage of it. Happy reading,

Dianne


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15 Days until Christmas

‘Tis the season for shopping, hitting the stores and malls with a list that rivals Santa himself. Do any of us remember a simpler time for the holidays? As children we didn’t realize all the preparation and work that the adults around us participated in so that it seemed like magic. This past Thursday evening my husband and I attended the 58th Annual Singing Christmas Tree at a nearby middle school. Two of my children participated in the choir there for this great traditional event. Now, my 11-year-old grandson is in that program. We were charmed and impressed with the performance and the abilities that these children showed through out the event. They performed 13 pieces of music that ranged from “Christmas Time is Here” – remember “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” – to some traditional songs. Some were little known with difficult chords and harmony but the children sounded literally like an angel’s choir. One of the 8th grade boys did an amazing job singing “O Holy Night.”

The songs and the clarity of the young voices struck at the heart of the Christmas season. The audience was invited to sing a verse of several well known and loved Christmas carols ending with the classic “Silent Night.” The concert was a loving gift to those who attended. Coming home afterwards my heart felt full and I thought about the birth of Jesus over 2,000 years ago. A simple setting and God’s love for all of mankind all wrapped up in a tiny baby. What an amazing gift to us all!

Merry Christmas to all of you and a blessed New Year.


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Holiday Giveaway Hop

This is the last day for the Hop. I hope you had a good time and you’ll visit some more blogs on the list and good luck.

To keep it simple each site has a limit of entries per person.  To participate go to the list at I Am A Reader and scroll down a few paragraphs to the link list.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


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Just a Note

I know that the posts have been a little sporadic and unpredictable over the past couple of weeks. I apologize and am back on schedule for this new week for the regular Tues – Thurs – Saturday posts. Family challenges and the loss of a dear friend have had their impact on things.

I hope all is going well and each of you are writing. I hope you’ll participate in National Novel Writing Month this year. Go to NaNoWriMo


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Blog Jog Day!

Welcome to Blog Jog Day! Please enjoy my site then click over to http://RyanJCauthor.blogspot.com to see what the next Blog has to offer! Lost in the links? You can always go back to the main Blog Jog Day Blog at http://blogjogday.blogspot.com and find a new link to jog from. Thank you for stopping by my site!

This is a fun tour of blogs – meeting new people and finding out about what others are doing, writing, and reading. I’ve participated before and I enjoyed hosting as well as visiting. Leave a comment and you’ll be in a drawing for my book The Fisherman’s Wife. 

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 9th, 2011. Stop back and see if you’re the winner.


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Book Trailers

If you’re a writer or a reader, then you probably know about book trailers. For those of you not familiar with them, they are similar to the movie trailers we see on television that get us to go to the movies. Book trailers give the reader a taste of the story and get some of the plot elements. This way of promoting your books is one of the ways we can take a couple of hours or so to create a book trailer with Windows Movie Maker or the program of your choice. They have a new edition that you can download online for free. You can acquire music from various websites or if you’re lucky and have someone in your family who writes and plays music you might be able to use theirs for a listing in the credits. You may have to get a free membership at the site or some offer free memberships and low prices. Be sure to check the Terms before you use them.

If you’ve never done it, then I recommend you give it a try. There is a learning curve, but after the first one the next will be much easier. You can purchase pictures from sites like bigstockphoto.com for minimal amounts or scan your own photos or download them from your digital camera. You can even select your photos and then have the program arrange the photos and when you upload the music it will make the music fit if you tell it too.

You do the work once and post it on your website, blog, and media networks. Then, 24/7 your book trailer lets people know about your book.

I just finished the book trailer for my last book that came out last year, The Fisherman’s Wife. If you’d like to see it, then go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgyT_aSf0OM


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Writing for Children: Finding Age Appropriate Words

By Karen Cioffi

Writing in general can be a tough business; writing for children is even tougher. Writing for children has its own unique tricks, processes, and rules; one of those rules is using words that are age appropriate.

How this differs from writing in general is that the children’s writing arena is divided into specific age groups. There are picture books and rebus stories for the very young child. The story line and text are simple; they need to tell a story including basic conflict and action, but they are geared toward the comprehension of young children. Next comes early readers. Again, the words used and plot are relatively simple to help the child learn to read. The next genre is chapter books. Here the plot and words grow just like the child has. The story can be more involved and geared to hold the child’s attention with mild mystery, suspense, and fantasy.

Then it’s on to middle grade. At this point, the child has grown and has greater comprehension and vocabulary, so should the stories for them. The plot and conflict can be more complex than the earlier chapter books. Finally, it’s on to young adult. This genre’s stories can be sophisticated and involved enough to attract adult readership. But, it obviously should still be written avoiding hard core subject matter. While it can deal with just about all topics, it should be void explicit adult context. Writing for adults is simpler; the writer usually writes with the vocabulary he/she is use to.

The question is: How does a writer know which words are specific to a particular age group? Unless you are an experienced writer and have become very familiar with the different age group vocabularies, you will need help in this area.

Three Sources/Tools for Finding Age Appropriate Words

1. A source that I’ve found very useful is Children’s Writers Word Book, 2nd Edition, by Alijandra Mogilner and Tayopa Mogilner. It lists specific words that are introduced at seven key reading levels (kindergarten through sixth grade). It provides a thesaurus of those words with synonyms, annotated with reading levels. In addition, it offers detailed guidelines for sentence length, word usage, and themes at each reading level. I find it a valuable tool in my writing toolbelt.

2. Another great source is Intervention Central (http://www.interventioncentral.org/htmdocs/tools/okapi/okapi.php) which utilizes Spache and Dale formulas. This is an amazing site that allows you to input up to 200 words, choose a readability formula (what grade level you are writing for), and click for the results. The program, OKAPI (an internet application for creating curriculum-based assessment reading probes) will return a readability analysis of your text, indicating what grade level the particular content is appropriate for.

http://www.lefthandlogic.com/htmdocs/tools/okapi/okapi.php

3. Next is Englishraven.com (http://www.englishraven.com/ttools_dolch.html). This site provides Dolch (sight word listed for frequency and importance) wordlists for each grade level. The lists are limited, but it does give a good indication of appropriate words for the particular age group you are writing for.

All three of these resources are useful in finding just the right words for the children’s writer. There are also other books and sites available that will help you in your search for those age appropriate words for your children’s book, just do a search.

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Karen Cioffi is an author and ghostwriter. Her new MG/YA fantasy book, Walking Through Walls, is based on an ancient Chinese tale.

Longing to be rich and powerful, twelve-year-old Wang studies the legend of the mystical Eternals. Certain they are real, he journeys to their temple and begins an apprenticeship with the Eternal Master. There he enters a world of magic where not everything is as it seems, and where he learns the magic formula to ‘walking through walls.’

Walking Through Walls should now be available through online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and book stores. If it’s not yet listed, it will be very soon!

You can also order the book today at:

http://4rvpublishingcatalog.yolasite.com/mg-ya-page-2.php

To learn more about Walking Through Walls, its touring schedule and contest, and purchasing information visit: http://walkingthroughwalls-kcioffi.blogspot.com

To learn more about Karen and her books, visit:

http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/p/karens-books.html