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This is not the first day of November, as you know, but I just reflected that November is one of the happiest months of the year. Why? Well, fall is here, temperatures are dropping -although not too noticeable in my neck of the woods yet – and for those of you who live in cooler climes, you are enjoying the beautiful fall colors. Thanksgiving will soon be here, and that means getting together with friends and loved ones, feasting and having fun, and then it will be Christmas, the happiest time of the year for me.

November for us authors also means NaNoWriMo, the time when some of us try – and succeed – in writing an entire novel in one month. I have never tried to do it but I do step up on my writing and manage to accomplish more than I usually would. So, it does serve a good purpose.

November is also the month when we begin to advertise our sales. Yes, just like other businesses, we try to entice our readers by dropping our prices for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Look out for specials on all my books. And since November is the time most of you begin your Christmas shopping, it’s not too early to remind you of the offer I made last year: get a print, autographed copy of Coming Out of Egypt, complete with swag, for just $15.00, postage paid.

November 1st was Read A Short Story Day. I participated in a special promo to mark the day with The Unwelcome Wedding Guest, the short story shown below. As an early Christmas gift to you, you can download the story free of cost. Read and enjoy!

I saw something funny on Facebook recently. The writer said (I’m paraphrasing) that her book contains no ex-boyfriend suddenly showing up from the past, no finding old letters and no old mansion for sale, or words to that effect. I laughed when I read it because so many of the book descriptions I read  are about those very things. Maybe there are readers who enjoy those books, but when I choose a book, I like one that takes me to parts unknown, tugs at my emotions and leaves me thinking about the characters long after I’ve reached THE END. So because I love to read those books, I try to write similar ones.

In Part 1 of this topic, I said there were many reasons to read In The Wilderness, Book 2 of the Egypt series, and the first reason I gave was:

No graphic scenes of sexual abuse

But before we get to that, here’s a short synopsis of the book:

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 detective who suspects her of the murder, cope with her rebellious younger sister and hold down her job in a man’s domain drive her to drink. When Cicely, her former teacher, intervenes and leads the girls to Christ, Marva finds some measure of peace, but guilt over her crime and the desire to save June from disgrace force her to contemplate suicide. Fortunately, a serious accident derails her plans, and both Marva and June discover their true calling – to serve God, and others, with all their heart and with all their strength.

Many people, myself included, are turned off by scenes of a child’s body being violated. I have started reading many books – some quite popular – and have put them down at the first hint of abuse. The content of In The Wilderness and its prequel Coming Out of Egypt focuses on the psychological effects of the abuse. The stories are clean and wholesome, but suspenseful. Marva and June occasionally reflect on how much their father hurt them, but for the most part, they confine  those painful memories to the back burner of their minds.

And speaking of graphic scenes, I believe the most graphic is in the beginning when Marva and June dispose of their father’s body.

Thunder rolled again, and Marva swallowed against the tightness in her throat. Summoning all her strength, she pulled. This time the body gave and slid over the smooth linoleum floor. Beads of perspiration ran down her face and fell on the dead man’s khaki pants. Once Marva got to the door, she had no choice but to let his head drop the one step to the ground outside.

Senses alert, she stopped and listened. The storage door still rattled and the wind rustled through the leaves like whispering ghosts. A shiver ran through her. It was unlikely that hunters, or any of their father’s laborers, would come through their property on a night like this, but one never knew. With June sticking to her like a shadow, they took the familiar path down the slope leading to the river. Swish-swish went the corpse as Marva dragged her father’s lifeless body over the carpet of dry leaves.

Notice, there’s no blood and gore, neither do I show how the murder took place. This, I believe, leaves the reader to wonder what is going on, how did all of this happen. This is not a crime or murder novel even though murder is involved.

You can get a further glimpse into Book 1 – Coming Out of Egypt by clicking on the form below. You will get to read the first five chapters so you can decide if you want to buy the book. Or if you have already decided you want to buy the book, click here:


http://authl.it/ B01FNJ5EIU

Prefer print? http://amzn.to/2qCJsQA

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Every now and again I like to draw from the pool of expert writers and entrepreneurs on the net. This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.” http://filbertpublishing.com



Without a doubt, your headline is the most important part of your sales message. Many copywriters spend hours… days… weeks writing headline after headline, trying to come up with the one magic gem that’ll boost response to incredible levels.

Entire libraries can be filled with tips, tips, and techniques that’ll help you write stronger headlines. However I can provide you a brief overview of this complex subject.

As you begin writing, frame your mind around “benefits.” Benefits should be first and foremost in your mind whenever you write any sales message. (more…)

Have you seriously thought about your About page? Are you happy with it? Is it drawing the readers you hope to attract? If you answer no to any of these questions, maybe you need to go back and take another look at this important page on your site.

Consider your About page as your sales copy. It is what sells you to your readers, your target market. Once you know who they are you should address them with the proper tone and content. So here are some facts to consider:

1. Tell them who you are – your name and your credentials. Whether you write in first or third person depends on the tone of your site. First person tends to be more informal.

2. Show them who you are – You are not a dog, a cat or a flower. As long as you are a human being you should have a photo so people know who they are dealing with.

3. KISS – By this I mean Keep it Short and Simple. Write in simple, concise sentences. Readers don’t have much time to stay on any one site.

4. Infuse your values – Let your readers know what makes you tick, what brought you to this point. It doesn’t have to be an essay, just a few short, simple lines.

5. Include your social media – Let your readers know how they can connect with you on Facebook etc. That way they get to know more about you.

6. Have a call to action – What do you want your readers to do after they have read about you? Invite them to browse your online store, subscribe to your blog or visit your Amazon page.

7. Toot your horn – Potential clients want to know what makes you an expert. Any certificates, honorable mentions, awards etc. should be mentioned on your About page.

I did a major overhaul to my About page and am still in the process of tweaking it. I think it’s still too long and wordy. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Also, if you post your website URL, I’ll check out your page as well.