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Archive for July, 2014

July 29, 2014

LOUELLEN FRIESEN CLOSES OUT THE HHP BLOG TOUR!
By Marsha Hubler

For the last fifteen days, several Helping Hands Press authors have participated in a summer reading blog tour where we introduced the blogging audience to our stories and characters. To end the tour, I now introduce you to one of my main characters, the wife of Eli Friesen, in my Amish/Mennonite novel, LOVE SONG FOR LOUELLEN:

1. What is your name? Mrs. Louellen Friesen
2. What one word best describes you? Forgiven
3. How do you first become involved in this novel? I make my entrance on the first page. I am cleaning house for an “English” doctor, David McAndrew, and, God forgive me, I have strong feelings for this man even though I’m married to Eli Friesen.
4. What worries you? I am childless, which is a blight in the Mennonite community. I worry that I’ll never have children.
5. What is your favorite song? After reviewing my life and how God has shown his mercy and grace to me, I’d have to say my favorite hymn is “Amazing Grace.”
6. What is your favorite food? Everyone knows the Amish and Mennonite communities know how to cook. I have many favorites, but at the top of my list would be chicken pot pie with home-made noodles and fresh chicken prepared at our Snyder County farm.
7. What do you think of the other characters in the novel? Oh, there are so many folks in this story, I can’t comment on all of them, so I’ll just mention a few. I think my husband Eli has grown so much in the Lord as we’ve worked out our problems. Doctor McAndrew and his two teen girls, Andrea and Jenna, are wunderbaar “English” folk, and I care deeply for them, but our paths had to separate due to unforeseen circumstances. My Amish community? There are so many dear folk that Eli and I have to leave behind when we are shunned, and then we must eventually leave our friends. My heart still aches to see them all.
8. Are you pleased with your life as the novel ends? I am extremely well pleased because God performs several miracles that bring Eli and me closer than we’ve ever been before. And God gives us a special blessing that you’ll only discover when you read LOVE SONG FOR LOUELLEN.

Check out the other authors in the

HELPING HANDS PRESS SUMMER READING BLOG TOUR

They all have exciting tales to tell!

Monday, July 14 – Ruth L. Snyder http://ruthlsnyder.com
Tuesday, July 15 Cindy Noonan http://CindyNoonan.com
Wednesday, July 16 Mishael Witty http://bluebrownbooks.com/
Thursday, July 17 – Michele Huey http://michelethuey.com/
Friday, July 18 – Patti J. Smith http://gridirongrannyfootballfanatic.blogspot.com/
Saturday, July 19 – Amber Schamel http://amberschamel.blogspot.com/
Sunday, July 20 – Mark Carver http://www.markcarverbooks.com
Monday, July 21 – Marian Baay http://marianbaay.blogspot.nl/
Tuesday, July 22 – Jen Cudmore http://www.jencudmore.com
Wednesday, July 23 – Tracy Krauss http://www.tracykraussexpressionexpress.com/
Thursday, July 24 – Marcia Laycock http://marcialeelaycock.com/thespur/
Friday, July 25 – Joy Davis http://www.joyrossdavis.com
Saturday, July 26 – Travis Perry http://travissbigidea.blogspot.com/
Sunday, July 27 – Mark Venturini http://markventurinijourney.blogspot.ca/

Monday, July 28 – Iola Kirkwood  http://iokirkwood.com/

 

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Meet the Author Marti Pieper

Photo.Marti.Getting the Story_Pieper (2)

Marti Pieper’s passion to read, write, and pray has yielded all kinds of adventures. In 2005, her involvement in a prayer project led her to assist Brent and Deanna Higgins as they told their son’s compelling story. The resulting memoir, I Would Die for You: One Student’s Story of Passion, Service, and Faith (Revell, 2008), became a young adult bestseller that the publisher has called a “missions classic.”

Today, Marti continues to use her gifts as author, collaborative writer, and editor. Her latest release is Escape the Lie: Journey to Freedom from the Orphan Heart (Randall House, 2014) written for Dr. Walker Moore, President and Founder of Awe Star Ministries, a student missions-sending organization. This is their third book together.

In addition to her work with nonfiction books, Marti writes and edits for popular Christian teen girls’ magazine, Sisterhood. She also serves as Director of Prayer and Publication for Awe Star Ministries and writer for the Shelby Kennedy Foundation, sponsor of the National Bible Bee.

Marti’s passion for mission service has been reflected in her work. She has had the privilege of traveling to Mexico and Panama with Awe Star Ministries and to Guatemala, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and (this July) Costa Rica as the writer for the Never the Same missions trip co-founded by Susie Shellenberger, founding editor of Sisterhood. Last summer, she climbed several hundred steps in the slums of Lima in pursuit of a story and also had the privilege of joining teens in sandboarding down dunes more than 200 feet high.

Marti is a popular speaker at writers, homeschool, and missions conferences where she shares the wisdom gained from her experiences in writing, editing, homeschooling, and serving on numerous short-term mission trips. Marti also speaks for churches, women’s retreats, and young adults on topics related to missions and prayer.

Marti holds a B.S.Ed. from The Ohio State University and M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is wife to Tom, a worship pastor, and mom to five young adults. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and at http://www.martipieper.com.

Check out Marti’s novel, ESCAPE THE LIE

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Satan’s deceptive tactics block most Christians from the lives God intended. We hide behind rules, masks, and manipulation. We preach the gospel, but our lives proclaim destruction.
Escape the Lie provides answers for the deep-seated problem known as the Orphan Heart. Through powerful, biblical teaching and compelling true-life examples, the book unlocks the door to help you escape the wounds of the past and move into abundant life.

Purchase Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Escape-Lie-Walker-Moore/dp/0892656859/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/escape-the-lie-walker-moore/1119464716?ean=9780892656851
Christian Book Distributors: http://www.christianbook.com/escape-journey-freedom-from-orphan-heart/walker-moore/9780892656851/pd/656851
Randall House: http://www.randallhouse.com/shop/escape-the-lie/

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July 7, 2014

The Elements of an Eye-Catching Fiction Proposal

In your writing and publishing venture, you might be asked to submit a proposal to an editor or agent once you’ve caught his/her attention. So what is a proposal?
Other than asking someone to marry you, a proposal in the publishing world is quite the complex project. Of course, the first thing you want to do is check the publishing houses’ guidelines. They might have them outlined for you on the website or if an editor asks for a proposal, then you ask him/her for their guidelines. If there are no guidelines, then follow a standard format that all editors will accept to get to know you and your project better.
Let’s look at the basic elements of a good proposal for a fiction manuscript. In later blog posts, we’ll look at samples of each of these (if applicable). One word of caution is merited here. Be careful to spend quality time on your proposal. Depending on how many sample chapters you send, your proposal could easily be 40 to 60 pages long. It’s not something that should be taken lightly because your proposal will either earn you a contract or send your manuscript back to you to try again some other place.

Basic Elements of a Good Fiction Proposal

1. Cover page – includes title of your work, your name, address, phone number, email, website, and to whom you’re sending the proposal
2. Table of Contents – list all the sections included in your proposal and their page numbers
3. Synopsis –  a one-to-two-page synopsis of your entire manuscript, including the climax and resolution. Don’t keep the editor/agent guessing how it’s going to end.
4. About the Author – a one-to-two-page bio of you, including a photo, a little background, and your writing credits and awards won; include your involvement with social media, i.e. Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, blogsite, etc. with all URLs.
5. Character Sketches – a one-page description of your main characters (one or two main characters, no more); include time period, personal appearance, quips, goals in life.
6. Market Potential (this one takes the most time) – spend quality time in bookstores and/or online, researching the other books already published in the same genre and age group. Include these elements: Layout and Audience, Competitive Works, Marketing Ideas, and Date of Completion.
7. Chapter Outline – this is not a I, II, III, A, B, C “outline.” It’s a one-to-two-paragraph summary of each chapter in your book. If your work is not finished, just write the outline up to the last chapter you’ve written.
8. Sample Chapters – the publisher’s guidelines might indicate chapter one, two, and the last one, maybe chapters one, the chapter in the middle of the book, and the last one. If not designated, send the first three chapters.

Well, there you have the basic elements of a proposal that will catch that editor’s or agent’s eye.
Why is the proposal so important?
If an editor or agent reviews a well-done proposal, he/she will recognize that the author already has good writing and organizing skills, has a goal set to finish a project, and can meet deadlines. All these qualities are essential in maintaining a good relationship between the author and editor.
Write an eye-catching proposal, and you’re one step closer to reaching that unreachable star: publication!

pen and quill

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Meet the Author Max Lewis
A Former Green Beret and Lawyer Now Shares Fourth of July Thoughts

Happy Fourth of July!

Lewis.Joe. standingphoto - cropped

Imagine how the signers of The Declaration of Independence feel while looking down from heaven and listening to their critics. The thought never occurred to me until my publisher asked me to write a fictional short story relating how John Hancock experienced the 4th of July. Before starting, I read Herbert S. Allan’s even-handed biography of Hancock. Yes, the founders were all human: Hancock was vain and a clothes horse, for example. But when you study the founding of America from the perspective of a founder, the greatness of these men staggers you.

“But they didn’t free the slaves and women and blacks couldn’t vote!”

Guess what? No one could meaningfully vote and everyone, everywhere, was in some form of bondage. The English themselves were “subjects.” Except for royalty and a small number of men in a handful of tiny Greek city states, no one had ever controlled their destiny.

Writing in the first person forces you to see things through the eyes of the character or historic figure, to imagine what they felt, wanted, and thought. The founders were operating on uncharted waters, laying the foundation to free all mankind and making things up as they went. They were doing it while at war with the most powerful Empire on the face of the planet. On January 1, 1776, George Washington discovered he had only 8,000 enlistments instead of the 20,000 planned. Georgia and South Carolina announced they would not sign if slavery were denounced, let alone outlawed.

As I imagine Hancock saying, “The hard truth is we will not free the Negro slaves . . . not because we don’t want to, but because we can’t. The southerners would revolt . . . freeing the black man will require a war and the forces of liberty are barely able to fight one war, let alone two.”

On July 4, 1776, the founders were almost to the man well-educated, affluent, and doing quite well as subjects of Britain. In the 18th century, traitors were hung from a gibbet with their hands tied behind their back. Rather than breaking their necks, the traitor took about ten minutes to strangle to death. Traitors’ property was forfeited, so their families were left impoverished. While the founders were signing their own death warrant, Benedict Arnold was trying to keep his army from disintegrating as he retreated from the disastrous Canadian campaign. “I have often thought how much happier I would have been,” said Washington, “if, instead of accepting a command under such circumstances, I had taken up a musket on my shoulder and entered the ranks.”

They were great men; yet, consider the petulance with which they were treated. While reviewing “The Price they Paid” e-mail about the founders, the left wing site “Snopes” called it part true, part false. Why? Here’s an example: “Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.” Snopes – “yeah, well . . . she was already sick.” Seriously. I paraphrase, so check it out for yourselves. Part of the disdain appears to be petty racism, sexism, and anti-Christianity.  The founders were white male Christians, but there may be something deeper. Writing about an attack on the the framers, Professor Walter Williams wrote, “If I believed in conspiracies, I’d say (Time’s) article is part of a leftist agenda to undermine respect for the founding values of our nation.”

Hancock might have said, “No doubt, those who hate liberty and embrace hate amongst the races will use this against us not only now, but far into the future. We can only trust this and future generations will be wise enough to detect the charlatan, understand his aim, and reject his deception. That battle is for another time and will be fought by other men. We must fight the one in front of us now.”

“This is a column of opinion and satire” Max Lewis says then adds that he knows of no undisclosed facts. Contact Lewis, the author of John Hancock, in Remington Colt’s Revolutionary War Series, and visit him at josephmaxlewis.com then click on Rimersburg Rules. © Joseph M. Lewis

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The Amazon Kindle link to “John Hancock” is: http://www.amazon.com/Remington-Colts-Revolutionary-War-Independence-ebook/dp/B00KND49O2/ref=la_B008ZHHUBW_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404224548&sr=1-5

To link to listen in on the blogtalk radio show with Joseph Max Lewis discussing “The Declaration of Independence”: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gelatisscoop/2014/07/03/joseph-max-lewis-discusses-the-declaration-of-independence

To stop by Mr. Lewis’ website and connect with him: http://www.josephmaxlewis.com

Lewis.Dec.of.Indep.Vol.4.Cover

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