Archive for the ‘Horses’ Category

Let’s Talk Grammar and Punctuation for a While

(Post Number Eight)

 The Itinerant Italics

Are you a writer who used italics frequently? Or perhaps you’re not quite sure when to use this little punctuation perk? Such was the case with me until I did a little research and study to make sure I was using italics correctly.

I’m sure you’ll agree that the most common way to use italics is mostly in fiction when using Direct Internal Discourse.

What in the world is Direct Internal Discourse?

Oh, that’s the “formal” fancy term for expressing someone’s inner thoughts. This is the most frequent use of italics. So let’s look at some examples of that plus some examples of other uses for italics:

Example One: Bill looked at Susie and thought, Now’s the time to ask her to marry me.

Example Two:   That’s just the sweater I want! Marge asked the clerk, “How much is that pullover cardigan?”

Exception: Do NOT italicize an inner thought that is indirect or paraphrased.

Example: Steve had been telling himself not to buy that car for the last week.


 Citing Sources

Although the AP Stylebook says to put all “composition” titles in quotation marks except the Bible and reference books, the CMOS prefers using italics for large titles:

Example One: Gone With the Wind is one of the most powerful movies ever made.

Example Two: One of my favorite books is The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans.

Example Three: Have you subscribed to the Reader’s Digest again this year?

Exception: Smaller components of such works, such as articles, chapter titles,

song titles, poem titles, and episodes should be in quotation marks.

Example: Barry read an amazing article about chipmunks entitled “The Nuts’ Best Friend” in this month’s Pennsylvania Magazine.


Animal Noises, Sounds, Ringing Phones, Etc.

In fiction, words that depict sounds other than dialogue are written in italics:

Example One:   Woof! Woof! Barney, Pete’s dog, barked his head off!

Example Two:   S-q-u-e-a-k …. “Who’s there?” Angie screamed.

Example Three: R-i-n-g …. Philip hurried to the front door, hoping he’d see Angie.


Foreign Words and Phrases

Unless you’re writing about Russian spies or Amish Ordnungs, this italics rule might mean little to you. However, whenever quoting foreign words or phrases, use italics. In the case of using the foreign words in fiction, they are usually italicized the first time as an introduction but are not italicized throughout the novel.

Example One: Henrietta’s German mother taught her to say ich liebe dich, (I love you), which helped Henrietta express her true feelings.

Example Two: In her Amish Ordnung, Ruth was the only alt maedel over twenty-five years who wasn’t married yet.


Italics for Emphasis

Often, in trying to express emphasis, writers will mistakenly use quotation marks instead of italics in a sentence. However, the italics is the proper way to go to express emphasis in a sentence:

Example One: Fritz made a very conscious effort to go on a diet this time.

Example Two: “Are you really going to drive to Florida by yourself?” Harry asked Bob.


Quoting a Word or Phrase

This use of the italics is probably most used in nonfiction. When citing words or discussing phrases, italicize the word or phrase in discussion:

Example One: The use of the word salvation in many of our traditional hymns has a powerful message.

Example Two: The shed blood of Jesus is one of the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith.

So, there you have the most common uses of the italics. Take a look at your own writings, see if you can incorporate a few italics here and there, and give your manuscript a little extra spice. As long as italics aren’t overused, this little punctuation perk can add some life to your work. So go for it.

Next time we’ll look at the exclamation point! This little jot and tittle is probably one of the most misused punctuation marks in the English language!

Happy writing!


More shameless promotion:



Skye finally finds out what happened to her real parents,

and it’s a real shocker!


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August 10, 2015

A Few Online Tips (Marketing Post Number Four)

Social networking and selling online seem to be some of the BIG ways to go these days with marketing one’s books.

Of course, there is physical legwork to do as far as book signings, speaking engagements, and vendors’ affairs to get your name out there, but the world’s markets have opened up online exponentially in the last few years, and it would be very wise to pursue that venue of promotion. The Internet and its effects on our society have grown so enormously, they can no longer be ignored.

Any author who is serious enough to write a book should be serious enough to learn how to use the Internet most effectively. Here are some quick suggestions, some easy, some not so easy, to accomplish. But, guaranteed, you’ll increase your presence online and with your fan base if you work on these marketing strategies:

  1. Look for online book reviewers. Many book reviewers will do a review gratis if you provide a free copy of your book. I’ve had some of my Keystone Stables books reviewed by  the NEA (National Education Association),  The Young Hoosier Book Award Program (www.ilfonline.org), and Barbara Fielding (www.reviewers choice.com)  All gave favorable reviews.
  2. When your book is on Amazon’s sales’ racks, have some friends post favorable reviews for you on that site.
  3. Take a social networking class (as I did quite a few years ago) to learn how to integrate and interact sites like Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and so on with your website and blogsite(s).
  4. When you become familiar with sites like Goodreads and Facebook, look for “groups” that will be interested in your book and join them. Although I’m not as active in Goodreads as I’d like to be, I do have over 1000 followers at that site. In Facebook, I joined several horse lovers’ groups, one that has over 100,000 members. I try to post a short tagline and a picture of one of my books there once a week. Sometimes I copy and paste the URL to one of my horse books listed on Amazon, which takes you directly to the book where it’s for sale.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The more your name pops up on the Internet, the more books you’ll sell.  It only makes sense that exposure is the key to good sales. Learn how to have a presence there, and you’re on your way to being a best seller.

(More shameless promotion)


When Dallis Parker goes on a snow camp trip with a church youth group, she discovers the phantom stallion really does exist in a way she never expected.


Marsha Hubler Best-selling Author of the Keystone Stables books

(Web) www.marshahubler.com

(Writing Blog) www.marshahubler.wordpress.com

(Horse Facts Blog) www.mhubler.wordpress.com

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Today’s Writers’ Tip: Meet the Author Beth Westcott


           Beth, her silly hubby Frank, and one of our “duckie” friends at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference

One of the sweetest gals I’ve ever had the privilege to know is Beth Westcott, a pastor’s wife, whom I met years ago at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference in Montrose, PA. Beth has been writing for quite a few years. Let’s get to know a little bit about her:

Beth Says Hi

“I trust you had a blessed Christmas and will have a joyous New Year,” she says. “May you hold the true meaning of Christmas in your hearts all year long.”

Her Roots

“I grew up on a farm,” Beth tells us. “Like many pre-teen girls, I loved horses. While the other group of girls ran screaming around the playground at school with a bunch of boys chasing them, the group I belonged to galloped and whinnied around as wild horses. Sometimes in real life, I had the opportunity to ride with friends, and my oldest sister owned a horse. I must confess I was never completely comfortable around horses. The idea for ‘Sadie and the Princess’ grew from my oldest granddaughter’s interest in horses.”

Beth’s Life Besides Writing:

The mother of three and grandmother of five (and one on the way), she has been in ministry with her pastor husband for more than thirty years. She enjoys teaching the Bible to children and women and enjoys music, sewing, and, of course, reading.

What Sparked Her Interest in Writing?

“My passion for writing began in second grade with a little poem about a lamb and a puppet play in third grade. I began writing seriously when I decided I needed to prepare for the empty nest after my children left home. It has been a journey of challenge and reward.”Beth.Reading

Thanks, Beth for a glimpse into your busy and fulfilling life!

Watch for Beth’s story to be posted soon on

Amazon and B & N


“Sadie and the Princess”

More than anything in the world, Sadie Rose Collins wishes for a horse of her own. She thinks and dreams about horses all the time. Her parents say no, they can’t afford a horse, and Sadie figures God is too busy to listen to her prayer for a horse.

Then one day, Sadie sees a shaggy gray horse grazing in a neighbor’s pasture. “If you were my horse,” Sadie whispers, “I would brush you until you shine, and I’d ride you every day.” Assuming the worst about the horse’s owner, Sadie decides she must rescue this horse.

But how? Will her parents help her in her mission? Or maybe her best friend, Sasha, has an idea?

When Sadie learns that Sasha’s Aunt Amiya rescues neglected and abused horses, she decides this may be her best chance to have a horse of her own.


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 Barbara Scott - Agent (2)

I first met Barbara Scott at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference in July of 2001. She was then the acquisitions editor for Zonderkidz (the children’s division of Zondervan) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and I was a struggling writer who had gone to that writers conference to try to sell a series of Bible study guides to a company interested in Christian non-fiction. I had no idea who Barbara was nor did I think I’d be interested in writing juvenile fiction at that time in my writing career.

However, in one of the editor/conferee private appointments, on a whim, I met with Barbara and showed her a short story I had written about a girl in a wheelchair who learned to ride a horse. Unbeknown to me, Barbara was looking for someone to write a juvenile girl/horse series for Zonderkidz. We talked for a while on the front porch of Dreyer Hall at the Montrose conference, she liked my writing style and twenty-plus years’ experience with children and horses, and she shared her idea with me. Without going into much more detail, let’s just say the best-selling eight-book KEYSTONE STABLES SERIES was conceived, and the rest is history.

Barbara’s that kind of gal whom you want to be your best friend as soon as you meet her. She’s warm, friendly, and often laughs at your stupid jokes that aren’t funny at all. But on top of that sparkling personality, Barbara is “street-wise” and is a walking dictionary when it comes to writing, editing, and publishing.

Barbara Scott Has More Than 30 Years of Publishing Experience, ranging from newspapers and magazines to Christian books for all ages. As a senior acquisitions editor, she is credited for kicking off a well-rounded series of bestselling YA novels at Zondervan and quality, highly reviewed novels at Abingdon Press.

Barbara also says, “I’ve worked with both fiction and nonfiction authors and sold their work to numerous publishers while a literary agent for WordServe Literary Group. I’m also a published author, and currently I’m writing and editing under the banner of my own company, Heartland Editorial Management”  (http://www.heartlandeditorial.com ).

Barbara’s Credentials:

Barbara has a long list of credits that are quite impressive. “I’ve partnered with best-selling authors such as Brandilyn Collins and Melody Carlson for the YA fiction line at Zondervan, and many of the authors in my fiction launch at Abingdon Press received rave reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal.” Two of her authors at Abingdon Press, Cynthia Ruchti and Richard Mabry, were nominated for Carol Awards by ACFW in 2011, and Nancy Rue, one of her authors at Zonderkidz has sold more than one million copies of her various children’s and YA series there. The fiction line at Abingdon Press exceeded all sales expectations.

Her Background:

Barbara’s educational background includes a M.A. in English from National University, a B.A. in English from Missouri Southern College, a Certificate in Film from the Mass Media Institute at Stanford University, a graduate-level course in child development from Calvin College, training in screen development with the Robert McKee Story Seminar in Los Angeles, and numerous sales, management, and customer service training courses.

I would say this woman is highly qualified to write and edit, wouldn’t you say?

Barbara’s “Secret” Life:

Asking this amazing gal to share something really interesting that most folks don’t know about her, I found that she’s definitely has had an exciting life.

 “As a teenager, I was a member of the Civil Air Patrol (an auxiliary to the Air Force) and went through ground flight school, two weeks of boot camp on an Air Force base, and learned how to rappel down cliffs, shoot a rifle, and hunt for downed civilian planes. I was a lot braver then and in much better shape! Also, by the time I finished college back in the Stone Age, I had attended twenty-seven schools, and I received my Master’s Degree in English at the age of sixty.”

What else can be said about a gal who’s “been around”?

All I can say is Barbara knows her stuff when it comes to the publishing world, and I’m eternally grateful to her and God for giving me the opportunity to write from my heart and to write about what I love: horses, kids, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Visit Barbara’s daily tips, inspirational quotes, and encouragement for writers on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Barbara.Scott01 and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BarbaraScott01.




Keystone Stables Book 1

 Purchase at http://www.amazon.com/A-Horse-Love-Keystone-Stables/dp/0310717922/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363616301&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Horse+to+Love+by+Marsha+Hubler



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A Word About my Horse Facts Blog

Hi, blogger friends. Any horse lovers out there yet?

Just a note to let you know that my horse facts blog site now has a new URL. Please go to:


The old horse facts blog site: www.mhubler.wordpress.com, although very young, has decided to retire from the track and go out to pasture.

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