The Island of Lote by Emily Kinney @theshadylady

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How do you think people perceive writers? I don’t think people perceive writers, and it annoys me. We really aren’t in the general consciousness of the populace. Unless you are a lit-head yourself, you aren’t going to care about or consider a writer. For the most part, we are a mysterious species, mostly referenced, but rarely discussed and seen even less. Which is so stupid. Writers, author, what have you, are awesome. We’re rock stars. It’s about time people started realizing it.

What’s the reason for your life? Have you figured out your reason for being here yet? Absolutely. I’ve known for a long time. I’m here to love and serve God with my whole being, and to bring glory to His name with everything I do. Beyond that, I want to become a Master Storyteller and join the ranks of the Greats. Plus, just be a kind and loving person; put some goodness in the world.

How important are friends in your life? Extremely important. I wouldn’t be who or where I am today without my friends. They don’t even realize how important they are to me. Even though I try to show how much I love them, I fear it doesn’t always translate clearly. And I want it to. I often worry about stuff like that.

What does love mean to you? Everything. ‘We are driven by love’, as it says in The Story-Artisan’s Creed. It drives everything I do.

What social issues interest you the most? I’m big on education and nutrition. I would love to help out with school reading programs. The education system in America is simply atrocious right now, and it makes me so angry.

Who do you admire? A lot of amazing people. Maya Angelou, my angel, Toni Morrison, Eminem, Catherine M. Valente, Doris Day. They’ve all impacted my life in one way or other.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? Not giving up when I could have.

The Island of Lote

Milo Hestler is a lonely, unusual, fourteen-year-old girl. She is constantly moving from home to home with her oblivious parents. The only friend she has is her conscience, whom she has named Bob. Her only comforts are cooking and listening to hip-hop.

When her family moves yet again, Milo is bullied mercilessly by her classmates. Such treatment prompts her to travel to Australia for summer camp. During the plane ride, Milo awakens to find the plane deserted and about to crash.
After parachuting into the ocean, she discovers she is near an island. Milo passes out, and upon waking, learns she was rescued by a boy named Simon, who is cute, but can’t speak English. Not able to understand him, she accidentally says yes when he asks her to marry him.

He leads her to a small town on the island, where they locate someone who can translate for them. Milo is outraged to hear that she is engaged to Simon and wants to call it off, but learns that this island has rules that cannot be broken. She must go through with the marriage against her will.

After learning about the trick he played on her, Milo hates Simon, though it is obvious that sixteen-year-old Simon really likes her. What will happen next on The Island of Lote? From her earliest memories, Emily Kinney has wanted to be a writer. She lives in Maine. “This book is just the first of many to come, rest assured.” Publisher’s website:

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Genre – Young Adult Fiction

Rating – PG

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Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.


Why Did a Major NY Literary Agent Agree to Represent an Unknown Author? – Michael J. Webb @mjwebbbooks

Why Did a Major NY Literary Agent Agree to Represent an Unknown Author?

A couple of years ago, I was finishing up my fifth novel, wondering if I would ever make it as a full-time writer, when I received an invite to a writer’s conference being held in Denver, CO and decided to attend.

Don Maass was doing a pre-conference seminar: Writing the Break-Out Novel.  I had no idea who he was, but the day-long seminar sounded interesting, so I signed up, along with over 500 other writers.  I’d brought the novel I was working on, Infernal Gates, and made furious notes for eight hours.  Whew!  That was the BEST money I’d ever spent toward polishing my craft.

At the opening dinner, I sat two tables away from Don and other guest speakers, wondering how I could get a few minutes of his very valuable time. Amazingly, after dinner, as the room emptied out, Don was sitting alone at the table, having coffee.  I didn’t need a prompt to go over and introduce myself.

(During the break I’d checked him out on the Internet and discovered that he was a well-known NY Literary Agent who divided his time between representing authors like James Scott Bell, writing, and teaching his seminar, Writing the Break-Out Novel.  He’d just published a new book entitled The Fire in Fiction, which I immediately ordered online.)

Now I was telling him about my vision for writing and asking lots of questions.  Turns out, he was interested in my take on Fallen Angels, also known as Nephilim.  I was more than a little shocked at that!  I pitched my storyline to him, and he told me to send him the synopsis and first chapter when it was finished.  I got his card, gave him mine, and we parted company.

Over the next two days I’d scheduled appoints with a total of seven agents and publishers, all Christian focused.  I met each of them for fifteen minutes and did my best to get them “hooked.” I’d done my homework, called in a few favors from other writers who knew some of the agents and publishers personally, and expected that I would not leave the conference without at least a couple of them asking for more of my novel.

Out of seven, five seemed very interested.  I was more encouraged than I had been in over a decade.  I returned home, sent out the requested information–and waited.  Something I had grown accustomed to over my long years in the writing “desert.”€

Three months later, I’d added another five rejections to the dozens I’d accumulated over the years, well on my way to a Ph.D. in Rejection.

Then, I remembered what Don Maass had offered.  Without much hope of success, I sent off my synopsis and the first chapter of Infernal Gates . Don really liked the novel, and seven months later, exactly one year to the day after we’d met and talked at that dinner table in Denver, I signed a contract with him.

Infernal Gates

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Genre – Christian Thriller, Fantasy, Adventure

Rating – PG-13

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The author is giving away the following prizes — mailed directly to the winner’s email address from


5 Kindle copies of Infernal Gates

5 Kindle copies of The Oldest Enemy

5 Kindle copies of The Master’s Quilt

Author Interview – Beca Lewis @becalewis

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How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?

I think they are useful, and I am happy they exist. However, It’s a balancing act to find a way to be professional with them, and still build a community of people that care what you do.

If you could do any job in the world what would you do?

Happily, I would do exactly what I am doing now – writing, coaching, speaking.

What makes you angry?


Are you a city slicker or a country lover?

I am both. I have happily lived in downtown Los Angeles, and happily in the country. Home is definitely where the heart is, and not an environment. I do admit now though, that the country and quiet has seeped into my soul and it would take some adjustment to go back to the hustle bustle of a city.

Who designed the cover?

I design our covers, but with design help (and photos) from my daughter Laurie Lewis-Knoedler at

Who is your publisher?

I had a “regular” publisher for my first book, but ended up forming my own publishing company ( and publishing myself.

Why did you choose to write this particular book?

Living In Grace: The Shift To Spiritual Perception is the book I had to write. I knew if nothing else happened in my life, if I wrote and published that book, I would have accomplished what needed to be done.

What was the hardest part about writing this book?

Getting it right was the hardest part.  I kept teaching The Shift® System to test out what I was writing about, and then putting the book in the order that worked the best in classes.  I wrote the book over at least 4 times, and over a 5 year period before I was satisfied with it.

Living In Grace

“A refreshing and powerful new look at the results of shifting perceptions to your true spiritual nature.” Alan Cohen, author of My Father’s View

A profound, thought provoking guide to shifting perceptions to reveal what is hidden in plain sight: heaven on earth.

If you are tired of fooling around with material-based thinking that only puts Band-Aids on problems, and if you are ready to choose spiritual perception and the spiritual solution, than Living In Grace: The Shift to Spiritual Perception is the answer.

In this book, I will guide you through powerful-proven-practical-perception-shifting exercises and personally teach you useful tools for shifting anytime, anywhere, and any situation.

You will find yourself restudying the book over and over again because each time your perception shifts you will experience greater insight into Reality.

Living In Grace, provides practical tools like The 7 Steps To Shift and an eight step-by-step system based on the word GRACIOUS, which makes the necessary process of perception-shifting easy to remember and simple to use.

Chapter by chapter, the reader is taken on an inner journey that encourages her to achieve her goals, and in so doing, lead a spiritual life.

This book will be a constant companion for every advanced or beginning student of spirituality. It provides answers about the nature of God, and his children, for every honest seeker of Truth simply and elegantly.

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Genre – Spirituality, Non-Fiction

Rating – G

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A Day in the Life of (Pepper Winters) – Pepper Winters @PepperWinters

A Day in the Life of (Pepper Winters)

I’m pretty boring really. It’s all about the written word and socializing with my awesome readers. And I’m a nerd too so I spend about 14-15 hours a day on my laptop.

Morning: I spend the morning answering emails, fan messages, and wasting time on Facebook. I check twitter and pinterest and I have a minor addiction about checking my amazon rankings to see how people are going with purchasing my work. I try and avoid Goodreads as much as possible, but sometimes I can’t help myself and have a sneak peek at reviews.

Afternoon: I finish up my other online work. Answering emails and clearing my desk. Then I open my manuscript and try and get 5000-10000 words done in one sitting.

Dinner: After dinner I re-read what I read and try and tweak the little bits. I then move back to Facebook, twitter, and arranging some more promotion for my work.

As you can see, I eat, sleep, and breathe writing and getting the word out there! J I’m a slave to my craft!

Tears of Tess

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Genre – Dark New Adult Contemporary Romance

Rating – PG-18

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Author Interview – Adrian Powell @AuthorAdrian

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Do you have any tips on how writers can relax?

Since a majority of writers write inside their home or place they feel most comfortable I would tell them to go somewhere they have never been before and just be. Don’t think, don’t wonder just live in the moment. I also found this helps me with writer’s block.

If you could do any job in the world what would you do?

I would travel the world learning from different cultures and people and writing amazing stories that inspire and empower readers.

How do you feel about self-publishing?

I think it is great. I think it gives a chance for stories to be told that probably would have never seen the light of day. I also think it turns the market to a “readers market” because of so much inventory readers find and select whatever they want to read versus selecting from a limited selection.

What book genre of books do you adore?

Currently I love reading books about business and self-development. No matter how many I read I always find ways to improve myself.

What books did you love growing up?

When I was a child I wanted to be a zoologist so I read countless books on big African cats such as lions, cheetahs, and leopards etc. Looking back I can say that was the moment when I realized the power of books and how they can place you in a world different from your own.

Up, Up, in the Air

Kenny wants nothing more than to learn how to fly high in the sky like his favorite cartoon character. But with everyone discouraging him, and no one willing to teach him the fundamentals of flight, will Kenny’s dream ever get cleared for takeoff?

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Genre – Children’s Book, YA

Rating – G

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10 GREAT WRITING TIPS FROM 10 GREAT WRITERS – Colin Falconer @colin_falconer


Colin Falconer


TIP #1.      “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach.

I’ll paint the picture for you. You have written a book of around ten thousand words. It has pictures. The protagonist is a seagull. You tell your friends you are going to get it published, then made into a movie and soon after break all hardcover sales figures since Gone With The Wind.

Would they laugh? You bet they would.

So did many US publishers until MacMillan published Jonathan Livingston Seagull in 1970. The rest, as they say, is hysterical.

TIP #2.      “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”  ~Anton Chekhov.


Anton and Michail Chekhov

Chekhov was a doctor, though he made little money from it and treated the poor for free. He started writing short stories just to make money.

Things have changed a little in the last hundred and thirty years.

But this little gem about moonlight something we should all have taped to our laptops every time we sit down to write.

TIP #3.      “I try to leave out the parts that people skip.” – Elmore Leonard.

He started out writing westerns over fifty years ago and is now considered the king of American crime fiction, the Dickens of Detroit. His sparse and gritty dialogue became an art form of itself. In “Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing,” he claimed his most important rule is one that sums up the ten: “if it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” In October 2008 Leonard received the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Award for outstanding achievement in American literature.

TIP #4.     “I love being a writer.  What I can’t stand is the paperwork.”  ~Peter De Vries.

I believe he was saying – tongue in cheek – that it’s seductive to settle into a round of writers groups and writers festivals and just talk about writing. But it’s not the work.


TIP #5.      “Drama, instead of telling us the whole of a man’s life, must place him in such a situation, tie such a knot, that when it is untied, the whole man is visible.”  ~Leo Tolstoy.

This pearl, from one of world literature’s giants, is more than a tip; it’s the whole iceberg. Entire books have been written about this aspect of story. But in this instance the author of War and Peace managed to keep it short.

TIP #6.      “It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.”  ~Robert Benchley.

Well perhaps, but it’s more likely that, like everything else Benchley wrote, he said this tongue in cheek. What more often happens is that by the time someone finally pays you for something you wrote, you have finally achieved some realization of just how awful you were when you first started. But by then you’ve learned whatever it is you needed to learn.

You hope.

TIP #7.      “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” –  Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The author of the Scarlet Letter here touches on another evergreen theme here. But be warned – this dictum can be taken to extreme lengths. Take James Joyce, for example. For the author of Ulysses, writing wasn’t just damned hard, it was torture. A friend once found him sprawled across his desk, a figure of utter despair.


“How many words have you written today?” he asked him.

“Seven,” the great man answered.

“But that’s good for you, isn’t it?”

“I suppose so,” Joyce answered. “It’s just that I don’t know what order they go in.”


TIP #8.      “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London

But remember the author of The Call of the Wild also stole an entire chapter of a book from another author, (the less well known Frank Harris.) Before you do that, it might be best just to wait a little longer.


Michener’s Olympia typewriter
Source: Ekem

TIP #9.      “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”  ~James Michener.

As some of his novels ran to a thousand pages, that’s a lot of rewriting. Most novice authors, when something is not working out, are tempted to trash their efforts and start again. “Hell, Hawaii’s not working out, let’s start on Fiji.”

But it’s a bit like marriage and divorce. Find out what went wrong the first time before you start again, or you’ll end up making the same mistakes.

Yes, I know. Michener was married three times. But he was a good writer. Or re-writer.

And finally, tip number ten, the most important of them all …

TIP #10. Always proofread carefully to see if you any words out.  (~Author Unknown)


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Genre – Historical Fiction

Rating – PG-13

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Author Interview – Johannah Reardon @JoHannahReardon

Image of JoHannah Reardon

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

Writing 11 books! Scratch that—raising three children to adulthood. They are definitely what I am most proud of.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

We lived in the country and I spent a lot of time alone, which was good fuel for my imagination. I also read constantly, since books were my companions.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Yes, since I was a teenager I wanted to tell my grandmother’s story because she had such an interesting life. I finally did in my book Gathering Bittersweet.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for almost 30 years now. That includes books, articles, blogs, and ghostwriting.

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

Children’s fairy tale/ fantasy. I can let my imagination run wild and say the truly important things. It’s easy and fun for me. When I’ve been working on something difficult like a commentary or a mystery, I take a break and write a children’s story. It’s very refreshing!

Who or what influenced your writing once you began?

Barbara Kingsolver hugely influenced me after I’d written several novels. After reading her descriptive work, I went back over my books and added a flourish that she inspired.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?

Sticking with it. I love beginning a novel. Coming up with the idea is my favorite part, but somewhere in the middle it gets really hard. It’s often difficult to keep the momentum going. I’d rather just come up with a new idea. So, I have to discipline myself to stay with it.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Of course! I just determine to keep going. I get something down, even if I have to go back and rewrite it the next day. Or sometimes I take a few days off and do something entirely different. Often I can then return with a fresh perspective.

The Crumbling Brick

Ella is a bored, inner-city girl trying to fill the long, monotonous days of her summer vacation. As she keeps a promise to her mother to clean the cellar, she discovers a crumbling brick behind an old trunk. Even though it’s raining outside, sunlight pours through the opening. Intrigued, she chips away at the brick to find the source of the light. To her astonishment, she finds another land beyond her cellar wall, gripped in the freshness of spring.

In the land of Neo, she makes new, unusual friends, discovers breathtaking beauty, and learns of Kosmeo who will guide and direct her during all of her adventures. She discovers Kosmeo has brought her here for a purpose. Princess Onyma must choose a suitor who will eventually rule all of Neo. Many of the citizens of Neo are threatened during this perilous time of choice between good and evil. Can Ella save this beautiful kingdom from disaster? THE CRUMBLING BRICK is told in the tradition of C. S. Lewis’s and George MacDonald’s fairy tales.

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Genre – Fairy tale, Fantasy

Rating – G

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