Author Accolades – Dec. 5, 2011

We are very pleased to announce that we have two clients whose books have been named as “The Best Christian Fiction of 2011” by The Library Journal.

Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee’s Forbidden (Center Street) – we represent Tosca.

Tracy Higley’s Pompeii: City on Fire (B&H Publishing Group).

Also Debbie Ulrick and Liz Tolsma are part of the Log Cabin Christmas collection of novellas which is #7 on the ECPA Fiction bestseller list for December.

Congratulations to all!

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Christian Romance — Fact or Fiction?

In response to a recent blog post, “A Matter of Taste,”  a reader asked what I would say if someone claimed there is no such thing as Christian romance.

In fact, I have been confronted with this question before. At a Christian writers’ conference a few years ago, a woman told me in a snide manner that romance is a “fantasy” and walked away before I could respond. I felt especially sad that the woman was no doubt a fellow Christian, but it sounded like it had come from a jaded secularist. I believe this woman’s attitude reflects her own experience rather than the state of Christian publishing. True, not all real life endings are happy, and Christian romance novels traditionally end with the premise that the couple will enjoy a bright future. That is the hope and promise these books offer. Indeed, isn’t that the hope and promise of weddings in real life?

The Lord never promised Christians perfect unions. My heart aches for anyone in a miserable marriage. Hurt people hurt people, so no amount of convincing will change some minds about romance. But God is bigger than any situation, and He heals willing hearts.

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Threads in the Fabric

If you came to visit my office, you’d see my walls are lined with bookshelves. Twelve in all—six ceiling-to-floor shelves and another six half that height. Plenty of room for all my books, right? Yeah, that’d be nice. I still have box upon box of books, all awaiting the day they can come out and play. Trouble is, I’m out of room for bookshelves. So I find myself faced with the painful duty of culling. I’ve done this difficult task probably 10 times since we moved here 8 Thanksgivings ago, and still the boxes aren’t empty.

What can I say? I love books. Always have. The feel of one in my hands, the smooth pages under my fingers, the welcoming typeface that works magic and brings worlds to life…worlds that sometimes are more real to me than the one I actually live in. Worlds peopled with characters and creatures that have become threads in the fabric of who I am.

Books are, quite simply, a miracle.

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News You Can Use – Nov. 29, 2011

How Much Does a 99 cent E-Book Cost on Amazon? – This is a chilling story for those who think that going the self-publishing route with the Kindle is all puppies and kittens. And it makes a good case for the International nature of story telling.

Don’t Waste Your Exclamation Points! – Intended for pastors this is a reminder for all writers.

Thoughts on the Future of Book Marketing – Insightful thoughts.

Does the Internet Kill Your Productivity? – Ironic that the article about this is ON THE INTERNET.

Platform is not everything – Love, love, love this post.

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Reasons I am Thankful Today and Every Day

I try to live in a spirit of gratitude every day, but this holiday is a chance to spend more time meditating upon a few specific reasons to be thankful. I hope you’ll read over this list slowly and think about your own life.

1.) God the Father.

2.) Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord.

3.) My devoted, loving, and godly husband, John.

5.) Our beautiful daughters, Jill and Ann.

6.) That all four of our parents are still in good health.

7.) Extended family and friends.

8.) That I have a great boss and an interesting, challenging job I believe in and enjoy.

9.) The wonderful writers and other publishing professionals I work with.

10.) To live in America.

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News You Can Use – Nov. 22, 2011

Six Things Jeff Bezos Knew Back in 1997 That Made Amazon a Gorilla – Excellent article from Forbes magazine

Reward Yourself with Kittens! – This free “Written? Kitten! tool” provides you a blank page on which to type. But every writing goal you achieve (100, 200, 500 and 1000-word settings are available), you get a picture of a cute kitty! – Part of the NaNoWriMo incentives.

Books-a-Million to Open 41 New Stores this Season! – Anyone who says all bookstores are going away has not been paying attention.

Interview with Nora Roberts – The most prolific author of our era. Amazing.

Special Thanksgiving Special from The Savvy Book Marketer: They are offering a 25% discount this week on these book marketing and publishing guides. The Thanksgiving Special coupon is valid through Friday, November 25. Just enter this code in the coupon field at checkout to save 25% on your order: thanks2:

Ebook Publishing Success
How to Get Your Book Reviewed
Virtual Book Tour Magic
How to Sell More Books on Amazon
Selling Your Book to Libraries
Directory of Top U.S. Libraries
Successful Social Marketing
Twitter Guide for Authors
Facebook Guide for Authors

INFOGRAPHIC:
The Freelance Revolution – While it isn’t a perfect application to all writers this is a very intriguing infographic.

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Fun Fridays – Nov. 18, 2011

No. These are not original. But they are delightful to read again!
Do you have any you can add?

A Little Bit of Fun for Lexophiles (Lover of Words)

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off?
He’s all right now.

The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference.

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.

Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.

We’ll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.

The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

The dead batteries were given out free of charge.

If you take a laptop for a run you could jog your memory.

A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.

A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.

A will is a dead giveaway.

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

A backward poet writes inverse.

In a democracy it’s your vote that counts; in feudalism, it’s your Count that votes.

A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I’ll show you A-flat miner.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.

He broke into song because he couldn’t find the key.

A calendar’s days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted: ‘Taint yours, and ‘taint mine.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

A plateau is a high form of flattery.

When you’ve seen one shopping center you’ve seen a mall.

If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she’d dye.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.

Acupuncture: a jab well done.

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Floating Body Parts

Writers conferences and blogs talk about this topic often so I don’t pretend to be breaking new ground with this post. Yet I still see some floating body parts and cliches creep into otherwise great stories. No, I don’t mean murder mysteries depicting a stray arm floating in a river. I mean much gentler fare.

Yes, floating body parts offer the reader — and writer — shortcuts. But relying on them as description in narrative doesn’t challenge anyone’s imagination.

Rolling eyes

The offender I see most often is:

“She rolled her eyes.”

Yes, we all know this means that her eyes went from the ceiling and back. No, wait a minute. Her eyes didn’t go the ceiling and back. Her gaze went to the ceiling and back. See the difference? No pun intended.

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