Friday, October 25, 2013

A Happy Announcement

May I boast just a teeny bit? 

Release day is here!

After a few delays, it's rather surreal - exciting too, so I just wanted to share the news. You've all been so faithful to lend your support and cheer me on. Thank you!

For details on Homeschool Co-ops 101 click here, or visit:

Barnes and Noble

In Other News

In case you missed it, we discussed good writing books in last Monday's post. I invite you to hop over and add your two cents.

Thursday's post featured a blog tour visit for Pamela Christian's Examine Your Faith! Stop by if you like and congratulate her on her new book.

I'm taking a short break but will be back on Monday, November 4.

What exciting things are happening in your neighborhood these days?

Have a great week!

Happy writing,

Karen  :) 

P.S. For those of you who signed up for the HC 101 blog tour, we will email you the details shortly.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Spotlight - Examine Your Faith by Pamela Christian

examine your faith by pamela christian 
It's my pleasure to participate in Pamela Christian's blog tour for her book, Examine Your Faith! Congratulations, Pamela!

Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in a World of Lies

Well-meaning people want to believe that all roads lead to the same God and heaven. But wanting something to be true is far different from truth lining up with reality. Unless you make an intentional effort to examine what you believe and why you believe it, it’s quite possible you are living your life on the basis of a lie, and don’t know it. • What is truth? • Is it relative or absolute? • Is it personal or universal? • What are the differences among the various religious faiths? Can they be blended? • Are we creating faith—a belief system—that is impotent by trying to accept all religions as equal? (This book has been endorsed by Josh McDowell, Dr. Craig Hazen, and Dan Story.)

About the Author

For over twenty years, coast to coast, Pamela Christian, “the Faith Doctor,” has been helping people in matters of faith. Pam compassionately wants people to confidently discover and live in, life-giving truth. Her ministry experience began as Teaching Director for Community Bible Study, (an independent, interdenominational, international organization). This led to her receiving invitations to speak nationally, followed by work as radio talk-show host in two major markets. She is a contributing writer to various books and magazines. Her education includes a certificate in apologetics from Biola University. As a book author and media personality Pam's desire is to reach as many people as possible. She and her husband live in Orange County, CA, with their two grown children living nearby.

Follow Pam on:

Good Reads
Book Fun 
Linked In 


The Giveaway

For anyone that’s interested, Pamela is giving away one copy of Examine Your Faith! and a $25 Gift Card to Amazon or Paypal for one happy reader! U.S. addresses only.  

Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered: a Rafflecopter giveaway The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced November 15, 2013.
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as e-mailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Diane at That's What I'm Here For... and sponsored by the author, Pamela Christian. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
 You can purchase Examine Your Faith! at:
~~~ Amazon ~~~

What are you reading lately? Have any special weekend plans?
Happy reading and writing,

Monday, October 21, 2013

Good Writing Books?

"What writing books do you recommend?"

Has anyone ever asked you this?

Someone tossed this question my way last month. The setting was not conducive for discussion, so it caught me off guard. As I scrambled for an educated answer, I pictured the shelf on my desk where I keep important resources and thought, what books do I use most?

It's not a bad question, just a broad one, kind of like another I've been asked.

(You know the one - "How do I get started as a writer?" Well, let's see, where to begin...)

As for good writing books, are we talking about general writing and grammar? Ones on writing for children, young adults, or adults? Fiction? Non fiction? A how-to on magazine articles, novels, or self publishing?

What seems like a simple question has many answers, depending on what you're looking for.

The first book that came to mind was The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, then Roget's Super Thesaurus, and Barron's Essentials of English.

I felt a little tongue tied. Here I was, a writer who's having trouble thinking of good writing books. But I figured I could use the setting and timing as an excuse, right? :) 

Other books then came to mind in light of my historical fiction work in progress, such as The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, Characters, Emotion, and Viewpoint by Nancy Kress, and Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. I even thought about two books on my Amazon wish list, Ackerman/Puglisi's newest releases, The Positive Trait Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus.

More titles crowded in, like Edit Yourself and Writer's Inc. In addition to The Elements of Style, these provide backup when double checking grammar and coaching my teen writing students.

So my on the spot final answer was The Elements of Style. Figured you couldn't go wrong with this classic guide. Next time I'll be better prepared. What do you think? How would you respond to this question? 

Has anyone ever asked you a question like this at an unexpected time or place?

Have a great week! :)

Happy writing,


Photo credit: Stock Exchange

Monday, October 14, 2013

To NaNo or Not?

It's almost time for NaNoWriMo. In case you aren't familiar with the term, it's short for National Novel Writing Month. Held each November, the goal is to write a novel in a month. Writers everywhere participate and can interact via social media and the NaNo website. They also share pre-NaNo info and tips on the NaNoWarmUp blog.

I think about joining NaNo every year, but other commitments keep me tied up. After reading this post on HR Sinclair's blog, I'm considering doing a personalized version this year. Since my WIP is a collaborative project with Susan J. Reinhardt, I can't write the whole book, but I can take NaNo inspiration and move my part forward. :)

Are you doing NaNo? Have you ever participated in any similar writing challenge?

In Other News

Congratulations to Stephen Tremp! His book, Escalation, comes out this month. Here's a sneak peek: 

Escalation follows the lives of unlikely participants from innocence to a coming of age through sacrifice, betrayal, passion, lust, unconditional love, and hope. This book will appeal to fans of modern-day science fiction, action, and horror, as it is an epic clash where science and the supernatural take center stage for mankind’s destiny. The setting is global and the adrenaline-charged action is non-stop.

Wendy Paine Miller's book, The Disappearing Key, is out for all to read and enjoy. Congratulations Wendy! Here's the description:

Gabrielle Bivane never expected parenting a teenager would be this hard, but she never expected stillborn Oriana to live to see fourteen, either. The night of Oriana's birth, Gabrielle and her husband Roy fused their genetic and engineering geniuses to bring back all that was lost to them—at a cost. The secret must be kept.

Oriana Bivane senses she’s not like the other girls her age, but the time has come for her to change all that. She’s tired of secrets, but does she confide in the wrong person? The life-giving key, suddenly missing, must be found.


Do you write poetry? If so, check out Writer's Digest poetry competition. Top prize is $1000. Entry deadline  is November 1, 2013.

Children's Writer, a publication of The Institute for Children's Literature is also holding a poetry contest. Click here for details. Cost to enter is $15; this fee also gives you an eight month subscription to Children's Writer. Deadline to enter is October 31, 2013.

A Winner

Congratulations to Natalie Monk, the winner of Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund! Thanks to all who stopped by for last week's post.

What motivates you to make time for a project? Have any exciting plans for the upcoming weekend?

Happy writing,


Photo credit: Stock Exchange

Monday, October 7, 2013

Book Spotlight and Giveaway with Jody Hedlund

Jody Hedlund's latest book, Rebellious Heart is out and making a splash among historical fiction fans. I am pleased to be among her influencers - it's always a treat to get a peek at her books! Here are the details:

Book Description

A love that would shape history forever...

Because she's a woman, higher learning was always closed to Susanna Smith. But her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. And she's determined to marry well, so she'll be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Growing up with little to his name, poor country lawyer Benjamin Ross dreams of impacting the world for the better. When introduced to the Smiths he's taken by Susanna's intelligence and independent spirit, but her parents refuse to see him as a suitor for their daughter.

When the life of a runaway indentured servant is threatened, Susanna is forced to choose between justice and mercy, and Ben becomes her unlikely advisor. But drawing closer to this man of principle and intellect lands her in a dangerous, secret world of rebellion and revolution against everything she once held dear.

My Review

Ms. Hedlund's books have it all - action, intrigue, history, and a bit of romance. Rebellious Heart is no exception. It immerses the reader into life in Colonial America, and addresses tough issues related to indentured servants and the political unrest simmering above and beneath the surface. 

Rebellious Heart is loosely based the courtship between John and Abigail Adams. While the details were fabricated, I found this to be an interesting take on our nation's history. A story of this nature, while subject to the author's imagination, brings the past alive in an intriguing way. 

This book was engaging from beginning to end. I enjoyed getting to know the characters whose struggles were not so different from our own. The plot, rich with detail and purpose, offers an adventurous look at a pivotal time in America. Rebellious Heart is in my opinion, another wonderful book to Jody Hedlund's credit.

Giveaway Details:

  • You must be a Google Friend Connect follower and leave your email address with your comment.
  • Gain bonus entries (+1 each) by posting this on Facebook, your blog, and/or Twitter. Please total your entries and include links with your comment.
  • Open to residents of the United States.
  • Deadline to enter is noon EST Friday, October 11, 2013. Winner will be chosen by, notified via email, and will have 36 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Winner will be announced Monday, October 14, 2013. 

For More Info Visit:

Jody's site
Jody's blog
Bethany House Publishers

What's your favorite type of fiction? What are you reading this week?

Have a great week,


Please note: I was given an influencer copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.