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Book Review: Nonnie and I

Sweet Book About Friendship and Change

This is an adorable story about a sweet young girl who loves her bff, Nonnie.

Not just isn’t just any friend, but a lovely giraffe. What I loved about the story is how the main character grows and has room for all kinds of friends in her heart. The illustrations were beautiful throughout the story.

Excellent story, especially if you are looking for one on friendship.

You can get it here.

To learn more about Savannah Hendrix, visit her website.

Rating: 📚📚📚📚📚

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The Writer’s Craft Summit

I just happened to see a post on one of my groups telling about the Writer’s Craft Summit. I’ve been looking for something like this for a while. The videos are free to watch during the timeframe of the summit.

I’ve seen a few videos so far, but one of my favorites is the video titled “Creating Complex Characters”.  Megan Linski had many great suggestions on how to develop your character. One thing that really hit me was when she said how difficult it is to write your novel if you haven’t fully developed your character yet. She mentioned that sometimes the character sheets we use to develop our characters can limit our creativity. One suggestion is to interview and observe your character. Put them in situations and see what they do. I loved these ideas and I definitely plan to apply this to my work in progress.

My Work in Progeress is a novel that I have been working on for a long time. I go through dry spells with it because I often feel I hit a wall. After watching this video I am inspired to take another serious look at my book’s characters and see where they need to further develop.

One thing I asked myself was, What do you love about your favorite characters in other novels? Can you predict what they would do? How did the author convey this character’s traits so clearly? I definitely walked away from that video inspired.

Have you joined the Writer’s Craft Summit? What video did you enjoy?

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#GAP Highlight

Guardian Angel Publishing’s newest E-zine is out for November.  In this issue we will see: 

 SPECIAL FEATURE 

Little Isaac’s Big Adventure Tracy Schuldt Helixon and Illustrations by Jack Foster

POETRY

Bird’s Eye View by Pamela Love 
The Butterfly and the Balloon by Jill Clark
FICTION SHORT STORIES 
Up in the Air by Caroline Kiberd
Abel the Angel by Brenna Miller 
NON FICTION ARTICLE
Star Light, Star Bright by Irene S. Roth
Sweeping the Sky by Carol J. Douglas
The Sky is the Limit by Mary Sue Roberts
PARENT/TEACHER ARTICLE 
Our Very Own Star by Kelly Bakshi M.S. Ed. 

The special feature this month is Tracy Schuldt Helixon ‘s book Little Issac’s Big Adventure. I, being a very short person, can appreciate what Little Isaac goes through in the book. The illustrator, Jack Foster, is absolutely incredible with his work. I can think of no better combination of creative people to put together an empowering picture book. Be sure to head on over and see the other features in this months Guardian Angel Kids EZine!

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So It’s November



I’ve been in a writing funk for a while. Mostly this is because I’ve had a lot of things to take care of on my end. I’m finally gaining the Muse back and I know it never really left. It’s always there. It’s quiet voice whispers an idea as I drive past the brown and orange trees or as I pass an old, curious building with endless possibilites. I love those moments. I just need to continue to “feed” the Muse and let it do its job. The relationship between an Author (or any creator) and its Muse is like any other relationship. If you ignore or neglect the relationship, it will fade.

November is here and I know I’m not ready to plunge into NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) , but I am grabbing the spirit of it. I am using this time to nurture the writer in me again. I have set alternative goals for me to reach this time. They are just basic writer things that I used to to all the time. Some goals I have are to blog more, write down those ideas that come to me, explore one of those ideas, and add more to that novel I am working on.

So what about you? What are your goals this November? 

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Happy Halloween

Another Halloween has come and gone. With that the rest of the holidays are upon us. Every year around this time I am reminded of a creation my artistic husband did for me. A few years back I asked him to carve a jack-o-lantern to resemble Corky, a character from my book Teresa’s Shadow.  The process was long, but this is what he came up with.


Once it was complete, we decided to light it up.  

This definitely resembles the “glassy yellow eyes” Teresa saw in the story. 

Hope you all had an awesome Halloween! 


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Fleeting Inspiration

I think the most ironic part of writing is the whole process of inspiration. I know most writers have been in the situation where you are in the middle of something at work or you are running an important errand and then all of a sudden an inspiration for that next book or article comes along.  Did it come when you were focused and brainstorming?  Nope. Did it come along while you were outlining? No again.

I have found that my inspirtation always comes when I am not equipped to act on it.  I even have a notebook with me for these moments, however many times you can’t just stop what is going on. So why does this happen?

Research from an article I read in Psychology today  suggest that not only are we more creative when we least expect it, but we come up with creative answers when we are least alert or not totally focoused on coming up with an idea.  Maybe trying too hard creates a block for us rather than a quick solution. Could this be why some of our best ideas come just as we are falling asleep?

So, what can we do to harvest those fleeting inspirations that are just too good to miss?  One idea is that if you aren’t able to jot down your ideas ( maybe you are in a car or you are without a pen and paper) you can use your phone’s voice recorder to campture the inspirational moment. Another idea is if your inspiratioal was visual, take a photograph of what inspired your idea.

Just like writing itself is a creative action, capturing that fleeting muse takes creativity as well.  What are your ideas to capturing an idea when you aren’t able to jot it down?

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Taking on the Fear

Last November I participated in #NANOWRIMO, the month-long challenge to write a 50,000 word novel by the end of November. I came nowhere near that goal as I was not ready. It was something I joined almost last minute. All was not wasted though. I ended with a good start. I had the first few chapters written and had lots of notes together.  As the months passed by, I eyed my notes folder and considered opening my files on my laptop.

Something’s been stopping me though. After all this time, I think I’m letting my fear of taking on something new block my writing. I found myself frozen, afraid to take any steps. However, simple words from a great writing friend was enough to encourage me to keep going. The words? “You can do it.”

Yes, we say that to anyone trying to accomplish a goal whether it’s scoring that first goal or conquering an exercise routine. However, those simple words mean so much more than encouragement. Writers often support each other and demonstrate faith in each other. That is just the thing we need when our self doubt wants to take over. That paralyzing self doubt.

I saw a meme the other day that pointed out many successful people (such as Disney, JK Rowling and Hershey) that have failed and if they stopped the world would be missing Disney stories, Harry  Potter and Hershey’s Candies.

After reflecting on these things, I feel ready to take on this new adventure of finishing that novel of mine. The hardest part is those first few minutes when I’m convinced I have nothing to go on, however when I push through it, I’m always glad I did. Sometimes I accomplish chapters at a time. Other times I only accomplish a few notes, blogging and marketing. What I do know is that I feel I’m past that paralyzing fear. I have learned a few things during this time. The most important lesson is that even if I doubt myself, even if what I wrote is terrible, it’s important to keep going. There’s time for editing later.

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What’s in your Bookshelf?

Summer. It’s a time to unwind and relax a little – whether you’re just out of school for 2 months or are looking forward to a few days away from work. My summer days gave me time to catch up on things that I let slide during the busy year such as reading and writing.

I’ve been reading many things so far this summer, but for this post I narrowed it down to three: 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status by Cynthia Toney, Emerge, by Heather Sunseri and A Faerie’s Secret by Rachel Morgan. Yes, there is quite a variety in themes for these books, but I do that on purpose. I like to mix things up when I read and explore different worlds. 

10 Steps by Cynthia Toney is a coming of age YA novel. While the title makes you wonder if the main character is superficial, you’ll soon see that is not the case. This is the second book in the Birdface series where we follow Wendy through achieving her goals, uncovering a conspiracy, and helping others. Her helpfulness may come at a cost to the people already in her life. I recommend
giving this book a try. No worries if you didn’t read book one. While 10 Steps continues where book one left off, it certainly can stand alone. 


Emerge, by Heather Sunseri is a compelling mysterious drama mixed with medical conspiracies. When a deadly virus destroys 90% of the country, the airtight city of New Caelum was born to protect the people from the disease. Christina, the only person to contract the virus and survive, flees New Caelum leaving behind West, her first love and best friend. When it becomes clear the virus is returning and West’s sister contracts the virus, he sets out to find Christina. What follows is a race against time to defeat a deadly virus
and revive a city destroyed by corruption. If you’re looking for something different, give this book a try.

A Faerie’s Secret by Rachel Morgan is the fourth book from the Creepy Hollow series. This is the first of  three detailing Calla’s story. The Creepy Hollow books are set in a magical fantasy world filled with Faeries and other magical beings. Calla wants nothing more than to become a heroic guardian like her brother Ryn ( who we meet in books 1-3). However, her overprotective mother and her unique magical ability(classified by the makes Calla’s goal of becoming a Guardian even more difficult. I enjoyed all the surprises and twists and turns in this book as Calla learns that not everything is as it seems and there is more than one way to be a hero.

So as you see, all three I found intriguing and engaging, yet they all have very different premises. Up next for me are:

Uprising by Heather Sunseri
A Faerie’s Curse by Rachel Morgan
Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors by H.L Burke

Now it’s your turn. What’s in your bookshelf this summer?