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For those of you who may not know it, Easter is a very important date in the Christian calendar – maybe the most important date, even more important Christmas – although we seem to make more of a deal over Christmas. However, while Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ – the time He came to this earth – Easter commemorates His resurrection from the dead and the fulfillment of the reason for His coming. As a Christian, I enjoy celebrating both.

A few years ago, I entered a Writer’s Digest competition and won an honorable mention in the inspirational category for my short story For God So Loved. I was really blown away for two reasons 1) Writer’s Digest is a secular platform and 2) my entry was a religious story, but it did win a prize. So, with Easter right around the corner I would like to share this story with you free of cost.

For God So Loved is my creative interpretation of what the atmosphere must have been like that first Good Friday – when Jesus was crucified – and that first Easter Sunday – when He rose from the dead.

Here’s a short excerpt:

In the courts of heaven, the atmosphere is tense.

             The angel Gabriel and his musicians have laid aside their instruments, the elders that praise God around the throne are now seated, heads bowed on their knees.  Occasionally, a moan or a sigh escapes from some corner of the vast room. On the throne itself God sits in majestic silence, nothing in His demeanor betraying the depth of His thoughts. On the far side of the room, Moses and Elijah appear in deep conversation, seemingly oblivious to the uncomfortable silence.

Suddenly, from outside the walls sounds a great eruption. The elders jump to their feet and all eyes turn toward the entrance. The angels draw their swords and stand ready. Only God remains unmoved. In a blaze of smoke, a creature dressed in shining black garments, followed by smaller imps also clad in black, makes his way into the room. With a movement of His hand, God signals to the elders to clear the way for Satan to approach the throne.

Satan approaches and God looks down at him. Immediately, he falls flat on his back. His imps rush to his side and help him up. When he is once more vertical, God thunders from the throne, “What are you up to, Satan?”

“I am here to conclude our negotiations.”

God fixes him with a stare which he cannot return. “Do you want more riches?”

“I already have all the kingdoms of the world. I do not need any more riches.”

“Do you want more wisdom?”

“I have all the wisdom I need.”

“Do you want more power?”

“I have all the power I need.”

“Then what do you want?”

An evil grin sneaks across his face. “Your only begotten Son.”

A loud gasp emanates from every corner of the hall, followed by shouts and cries. The angels, swords thrusting forward, spring toward the intruder. God raises his hand and everyone falls backward. There is silence once more and God speaks, “You shall have Him.”


For God So Loved is part of a My Book Cave giveaway taking place right now until Easter. To get your free copy, all you have to do is click here  and it will take you to the page where you’ll see it and other Christian-themed books, all free of cost. But that’s not all. When you enter this giveaway, you stand a chance to win a $25 gift card. So take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and tell your friends about it as well. And remember, if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, you can do so now to learn about other exciting offers.

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I’m not even sure if I spelled that word pantser correctly. After three or four attempts WordPress is still redlining it, so somebody, please correct me if you know what it should be. I tried dictionary.com and the closest I came to it was the word “depantsing,” which I’m sure you can guess means “to remove the trousers from, as a joke or punishment.” I do remember as a child hearing about boys being “depantsed” by teachers and then flogged, but I never witnessed it. Anyway, for you readers, “pantser” or “pantsing” is one of those strange, new words authors use and has nothing to do with removing someone’s pants either as a joke or for punishment.

So, what does it mean? It means something I’m guilty of – writing by the seat of my pants. Not making an outline -as I was taught in college – but just writing free-form, spontaneously. And I believe it worked quite well for my first four books. So why did I decide to change? With my latest WIP – I haven’t settled on a title yet- I find myself stalling at times, unlike when I wrote all the Egypt books and the words just poured out of me like a Florida rainstorm. It’s not that I have the dreaded writer’s block. It’s simply that I had abandoned the project for a time to work on other things, and when I picked it up again, I was lost.

Then it dawned on me that if I had plotted – made an outline – I would have simply taken up where I’d left off and would have saved myself a lot of time and a lot of angst trying to figure what to write next. So now I’ve decided to spend a little time outlining or timelining as another author called it instead of pantsing. If you are an author, you might want to use this idea for NANOWRIMO to help you complete your novel in one month.

However, there are some authors who believe in pantsing a novel and those who believe in outlining your novel I think both methods have merit. In the final analysis, I’ll use what works best for me depending on the project. Leave a comment below and let me know which method you prefer and why.

If you’ve read this far, I have an offer for you. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’m giving away these lovely bangles on my health blog, but since they may have meaning for some of you, I’ve decided to make the offer available to you as well. Simply sign up in the form below and I’ll choose two lovely ladies to send the bangles to FREE and postage paid.

I’m happy to announce that In the Wilderness, Book 2 of the Egypt trilogy, is on tour this week, starting today Oct. 2 until Friday Oct. 6. This is a virtual book tour that will make stops at other book blogs in order to garner exposure and reviews. This is a great opportunity for those of you who have not yet purchased the book to learn more about it and hear what others think. At the end of the tour, I will be giving away a signed copy of the first book, Coming Out of Egypt.

Don’t miss out.

 

You can follow the tour at the sites listed below where you’ll have a chance to participate in the giveaway.

On A Reading Bender – Oct. 2

The Indie Express   – Oct. 3

Texas Book Nook   – Oct. 4

Momma and Her Stories  – Oct 5

All Things Bookaholic – Oct 6

RABT Book Tours Reviews – wrap up

For those of you who still don’t know what In the Wilderness is all about, here’s a short blurb to whet your appetite:

In The Wilderness – Book 2

Tortured by guilt over killing her father, a crime for which she was never punished, Marva Garcia longs to confide in someone.  But who? Cicely, her former teacher-turned-surrogate – mother, is soon to marry the detective who suspects Marva of murdering her father, and she is too ashamed to confide in her friend Jason who has a romantic interest in her. The only person who knows what she did is her younger sister June whom she was trying to protect when the crime occurred. But June insists they keep quiet about it to avoid Marva being thrown into prison.

Certain that the police will one day arrest her, Marva sees suicide as her only option. But before she can carry out her carefully-laid plans, something terrible happens – something that uncovers her closely guarded secret and leaves her groping in the wilderness. Will Marva now be punished for her crime, or will she receive forgiveness and understanding?

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Greetings once again from sunny Florida! I’m thankful to God that we survived hurricane Irma. Some parts of my neighborhood still look like … well, like a storm hit it, but the crews are doing a great job clearing away fallen trees and branches and tidying the place up. Supermarkets have water again – YIPPEE! – and gas is flowing in the gas stations. My thoughts and prayers are with those in the Caribbean who are now under the gun from hurricane Maria. Please remember them in your prayers and help where you are able.

I promised to update you at least once a month on events in which I will be participating – book signings, giveaways, book reviews and the like. Well, in two days’ time from Sept. 21st – Oct. 3rd, I’m participating in an exciting group giveaway of women’s fiction books – Life Changing in the Face of Adversity – Women’s Fiction at its Best

 

Here’s the link for you to find out more about this exciting giveaway. https://www.instafreebie.com/gg/aWoOiHIiRh3jWYDPccjC   Instafreebie has organized this event and I know it’s going to be a smash. You can win a copy of my book Coming Out of Egypt as well as other stellar women’s fiction books.

Here’s a short blurb for Coming Out of Egypt:

When Marva accidentally kills her father while trying to protect her younger sister June from him, she anticipates a new beginning far from “Egypt” where they once lived. But her new life is not what she envisioned. The strain of trying to elude the police, cope with her rebellious younger sister while holding down her job in a man’s domain drives her to drink. When Cicely, her former teacher, intervenes and leads the girls to Christ, Marva finds some measure of peace, but she still has to be on her guard. Will she one day find the love and happiness she craves, or will she get the punishment she deserves?

 

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I am pleased to present this review of Pintip Dunn’s new YA fiction Girl on the Verge. This post is part of a blog tour that also includes an exciting giveaway ending June 8th.  You may follow the tour and participate at other stops by clicking on this link: (http://xpressobooktours.com/2017/03/14/tour-sign-up-girl-on-the-verge-by-pintip-dunn/)

Please read my review below.
Book details:
Girl on the Verge
by Pintip Dunn
Published by: Kensington
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Synopsis:

From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.

In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…

Purchase:
To participate in the giveaway, click here:
https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251231814/
AUTHOR BIO:

Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE, REMEMBER YESTERDAY, and the novella BEFORE TOMORROW.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com

Author links:
My Review
4 stars

When a naive young girl meets a cunning, seasoned criminal, someone is bound to get hurt. In this case it is the innocent Thai-American girl, Kan who becomes the target of the diabolical antagonist, Shelly.

Kan’s desire to belong, her fragile relationship with her mother and her love for her grandmother drew me in from the beginning and made me want her story to have a happy ending. Girl On the Verge is a fast-paced, captivating novel perfectly suited to the YA audience. The attraction between Kan and Ethan, their first kiss and the first time they spent swinging on the swings like children are all things young adults can relate to. As well as the low self-esteem that both Kan and Shelly suffer from.

Pintip Dunn does a great job of getting into the heads of Kan and Shelly and describing their emotions in a way that help us get to know them intimately. The story focuses on things that are important to young readers – first love, fashion, friendship, sex and relationship with one’s family. Pintip sketches all of these elements in a believable and skillful manner, packed with action and suspense.

The book certainly held my attention, and even though I thought the ending was a bit drawn out, I think Pintip did a great job tying up all the loose ends.

My rating

I gave this book four stars, meaning that I enjoyed it, but a few little things kept me from giving it five stars.

  1. Typos – I saw a few, including this one: But is she capable of attempted murderer?
  2. POV slips, repetitions and moving body parts – my eyebrows climb my forehead – that weaken the writing.
  3. Pacing – I like that the story is fast paced, but the actions take place too rapidly with no break in between. That’s just my opinion.
  4. Some of Shelly’s actions in killing Ash and attempting to kill the others seemed a bit unrealistic to me.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and will recommend it to YA readers.

Today’s blog post is courtesy Xpresso Book Tours and features an exciting New Adult book by Tani Hanes. Tani will be doing a blitz-wide giveaway of her books from April 16th to April 20th, and you are invited to join. Read on and enjoy.

Before the Tempest
by Tani Hanes
(UK Crush, #4)
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
Aileen Foster, poor, orphaned, musically gifted, never imagined her life could change so much, so fast, but getting a job as interpreter for boyband UK Crush pitched her headfirst into tumult and a glamorous life she never thought she’d have. Now, engaged to band member Theo Shelley, and having survived her audition to Hamilton Conservatory in Manhattan, she’s off to the Bahamas with the boys while they write their new album. Life has never been easy for her, but she’s trying.

GIVEAWAY
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)

Paperbacks of UK Crush #1-4
10x ebook copies of UK Crush #1-4

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251231731/

_________

Book & Author Details:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34664760-before-the-tempest?ac=1&from_search=true

Pre-order:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XS7GK96


AUTHOR BIO:
Tani Hanes was born in Yokosuka, Japan. She spent the first few years of her life traveling back and forth between Japan and the US, making the permanent move to the Central Valley of California when she was five. She visited family in Japan on a regular basis, and attended college in Tokyo for one year at ICU before getting her degree in Language Studies from UC Santa Cruz. She has two children, and was a substitute teacher for fifteen years. Hanes currently resides in New York City with her husband and cats, Moss and Lily.

Author links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tani-Hanes/e/B01M4PYCA6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1491404380&sr=8-1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16028512.Tani_Hanes
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tanihanes/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TaniHanes
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tanihanesauthor/
Website: http://tanihanes.com

What an exciting time of the year this is! I love Christmas and all the gift-giving that goes with it. This is why I want you to share in an exciting giveaway taking place. From now until Dec. 26. you stand a chance to win a $500 Amazon Gift Card giveaway. Just click on the foll. link: https://wp.me/P2H01p-9o8

And remember you can still pick up a copy of Coming Out of Egypt for yourself or a friend by going here

Or if you prefer the print version go here

As every indie author knows, one of the best ways to move forward in our writing career is to support other indie authors. So today I’m happy to participate in this promotional blitz of Kimberley Nadine Knights’ debut novel The Cilantro In Apple Pie. In case you didn’t know it, cilantro is an herb commonly used in Trinidad and Tobago, Kimberley’s birth place. As you read the synopsis of the novel and the author’s bio, you’ll understand the relevance of this catchy title. You can further help spread the word about this fascinating new novel by participating in the giveaway, sharing with your social media friends, purchasing a copy and writing a review on Amazon.

Below you’ll find a synopsis of the novel, author bio and interview and other important links.

Book & Author Details:

The Cilantro In Apple Pie by Kimberley Nadine Knights
Published by: Ravenswood Publishing
Publication date: May 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Kimberley 2

Cilantro

Synopsis:

Fragnut. Confused? Well so is everyone else at Lumiere Hall Prep when sixteen-year-old Rubie Keane rolls in from Trinidad and Tobago talking her weird lingo. Not that she minds the culture confusion; she’s determined to leave the past behind her and be overlooked—but a certain stoic blue blood is equally as determined to foil her plans.

Gil Stromeyer’s offbeat personality initially makes Rubie second-guess his sanity, but she suspects his erratic outbursts of violence mask a deeper issue in his troubled, charmed life. Despite his disturbing behavior, a gradual bond forms between the two. However, on the night of the annual Stromeyer gala, events unfold that leave Rubie stripped of her dignity and kick Gil’s already fragile world off its axis.

Both their well-kept secrets are uncovered, but Gil’s revelation proves that sometimes the best remedy for a bad case of lost identity, is a dash of comradery from an ally packed with flavor.

Goodreads
Amazon
B & N

AUTHOR BIO:
Kimberley Nadine Knights knew when she kept willingly opting out of parties so she could stay home and write instead, that she was destined to be an author.

Born and raised in the tropical twin islands of Trinidad & Tobago, when this Caribbean girl isn’t creating new plotlines for her ever growing lineup of fictional characters, she spends her time strumming her guitar to indie rock songs and snapping once in a lifetime photos halfway across the globe in countries such as Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and France.

She’s an avid fan of The Walking Dead series and firmly believes that The Food Network should consider her being a judge on the next Chopped challenge.
Visit her website http://kimberleynknights.wix.com/author and learn more about this up and coming author.

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR KIMBERLEY NADINE KNIGHTS

1. What inspires you? Definitely music – specifically original scores from films. My favorites are from The Village, Finding Neverland, Pride & Prejudice, Meet Joe Black and Life as a House.

2. What’s your advice to an aspiring author?
Write what your love not what you like. You have to be passionate about a topic to reach those magical words of ‘the’ and ‘end.’ Never write a book because that particular genre is popular – by the time you’re done it’ll be saturated. Also ignore the naysayers…you’ll be part of a very exclusive club when you finally finish your book 🙂

3. Do you ever experience writer’s block? I like to call it writer’s diversion lol. Suddenly my idea isn’t as exciting as I initially thought, so then I drift into another storyboard. But absence makes the heart grow fonder and I usually return to book 1 with full force after a few weeks. For normal writers block I force myself to write 1000 words a day even if it’s 1000 words of crap.

4. Who is your favorite character in The Cilantro in Apple Pie?
Believe it or not it’s the male protagonist Gil. His character was so much fun to develop because he’s such a drastic departure from anything I know firsthand. He’s flawed in so many ways but for the right reasons…so you can’t help but root for him.

5. Could you describe your definition of a perfect writing day?
I can’t write in the day…only at night. Guess that makes me some kind of literary vampire – but my ideal writing ‘time-period’ would be locked in a cold room with a desk and my laptop, burning the midnight oil till 6am with my score mp3’s and a cup of java.


https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKimberleyNadineKnights
https://twitter.com/Knightsley
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15048879.Kimberley_Nadine_Knights

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This week I am pleased to present an interview with Bruno McGrath, author of Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability. This ebook points out the surrounding issues of genetically modified fruit and vegetables that consumers are unaware of. If you are concerned about what you put into your body (and you should be!) then you must get this book. Now available on Amazon kindle.

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
Technically you can only go forward, but I would like to go back.

If you could invite any 3 people to dinner who would you choose?
Valentino Rossi, John McGuinness, Michael Palin.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
Steel & flint, Lifestraw, Knife.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Coconut

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
Keith Floyd

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Too many things to choose from and my mind changes weekly.

Night owl, or early bird?
Night owl.

One food you would never eat?
Balut eggs.

Skittles or M&Ms?
Neither, Nuts & Seeds instead.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
It’s something I think everyone should know a little about, as it effects everyone.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
A water sustainability book.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I was guided into it without realizing.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Receiving some fantastic reviews from a broad spectrum of people.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?
StarGate

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Just do it!

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
Fighter Pilot

Hidden talent?
Green fingered

Favorite Food?
Lamb Biryani

Favorite Candy?
Picnic

What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
John McGuinness biography.

What was your favorite children’s book?
Anything by Roald Dahl & The Argos Catalogue.

Nickname?
Chef, it’s what friends have referred to me as since I was 17.

How do you react to a bad review?
Quite well I think, if it is constructive, otherwise not very well.

If you were a bird, which one would you be?
Peregrine Falcon

What do you do in your free time?
Motorcycle riding

What’s your favorite season/weather?
Autumn, cold and sunny

Who or what inspired you to become an author?
My girlfriend tricked me into it

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
With a few drinks

What is your guilty pleasure?
Smoking

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
Come Dine With Me. (TV Show)

Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is….
The Da Vinci Code

Favorite places to travel?
Tanga (East Africa), Berlin (Germany)

Favorite music?
Changes regularly.

In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
Would love to do a world food tour with Michael Palin and turn it into a book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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