Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thank You for a Wonderful 2014!

On this final day of 2014, I'd like to take a moment to thank all of you who have supported me and my writing this year. My family, friends, fellow writers and authors, my blog subscribers, and all who have read The Land Uncharted

This year was truly uncharted territory for me. I had no idea all of this could or would happen at all, let alone in one year, and I'm living in a state of humbled, giddy shock. I don't freak out as much when I think about people reading my work, and for that I thank all of you who send me messages and post reviews and comments about how much you enjoy The Land Uncharted. Thank you.

There is more to come. Uncharted Redemption will be released in February 2015 and Uncharted Inheritance is scheduled for release in May 2015. I hope you enjoy these books in the new year, but more than that: I hope in 2015 God reveals Himself to you in ways you never imagined. 

Keely 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

#NoFilter: Guest Post by Krysten Lindsay Hager

#NoFilter: Guest Post by Krysten Lindsay Hager

I’ve always been told to be a writer you have to be willing to share all of yourself, the good, bad and the ugly, in an attempt to get to the truth. I learned from writing teachers and mentors about humiliation essays and how to expose the inner workings of your mind and soul on paper (or the screen). But how does someone do that in the day and age of the flawless Instagram filtered image of life? No one else seems willing to share their less than perfect moments. In fact, more than half of the Facebook statuses I see on a daily include the phrase, “Fun day/night out with friends,” accompanied with a happy smiling shot of two faces squeezed together in a picture with perfect hair. So I’m the only one who needs to take five selfies to get one halfway decent one and threaten people not to tag me in photos without approval? I have to admit the idea of the filter does freak me out a little. After all, I don’t want someone to see me in person and ask, “What happened?” And I don’t photo shop my pictures, but is that because I’m too stupid to know how to or just not that vain? Well…a little from column A and a little from column B.

However, it’s one thing to be yourself in a picture, it’s another to share the ickier part of life with not just family and friends, but strangers. Although, sometimes I find the biggest critics can be those closest to you. But I’ve always tried to keep my personal life to myself and I would basically pick and choose what people knew about me. Then I was asked to do a blog about writing for a website. I had planned to write about preparing for a book release, but then my dad was hospitalized after an accident and things went south from there. I was sitting in the hotel room (the ICU had weird visiting hours) and thinking about the upcoming deadline for my post. Then it hit me: I should include the real life occurrence in my post. After all, not everyone has all ups and no downs, right? And to write anything and not mention how part of my life was spiraling out of control would have been less that truthful. So I wrote about finding time to write even during the chaotic times in life. What I didn’t expect to happen was for people to privately contact me on different social media sites to share their own private stories. In some way, my opening up about a difficult time made it okay for them to share their own as well and I ended up making several new friends through shared (painful) experiences. While I do wish I (and my family) never had to experience this on-going heartbreaking experience, I am grateful that in sharing my story it helped other people to open up about their own. We’re taught to put on a happy face, but sometimes the best thing you can do is to be honest and you might just help someone feel less alone.


True Colors by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Summary: Landry Albright just wants to be one of the interesting girls at school who always have exciting things going on in their lives. She wants to stand out, but also wants to fit in, so she gives in when her two best friends, Ericka and Tori, push her into trying out for a teen reality show modeling competition with them. Landry goes in nervous, but impresses the judges enough to make it to the next round. However, Ericka and Tori get cut and basically "unfriend" her on Monday at school. Landry tries to make new friends, but gets caught up between wanting to be herself and conforming to who her new friends want her to be. Along the way she learns that modeling is nowhere as glamorous as it seems, how to deal with frenemies, a new crush, and that true friends see you for who you really are and like you because of it.


Available now!




Author bio: Krysten Lindsay Hager is an author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and also writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. True Colors is her international bestselling debut novel from Astraea Press and the first book in the Landry’s True Colors series. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite TV shows. She received her master’s in American Culture from the University of Michigan-Flint.


Connect with Krysten:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Guest Post: Lee Tobin McClain on Turning Failure Into Success

Turning Failure Into Success

Greetings! Lee Tobin McClain here, talking about turning failure into success.

I’ve been wanting to write Christian romance ever since Harlequin came out with their Love Inspired line about 10 years ago. In between teaching, adopting a daughter, and publishing four teen novels, I kept submitting manuscripts to Love Inspired.

And kept getting rejected.

Finally, I got in the door. I’m about to sign my second contract with Love Inspired and I am completely thrilled. Hooray for persistence!

But I had, um, a LOT of manuscripts on my hard drive that were Christian category romances, too short for other CBA publishers. And floating around the writer-world was new vocabulary like “indie publishing” and “hybrid author.” I pulled up my old manuscripts to figure out whether it would be worthwhile to publish them myself.

Job one, according to all my research: make them into a series. But how could I do that with standalone novels? The answer came to me in one of those flashes that I attribute to God, though others might attribute it to their muse. All of my heroes came from disadvantaged backgrounds. They were bad boys. And they all matured into men with hearts for helping others and doing good in the world.

What if they’d all spent time at the same place—a school for young hoodlums, the last stop before juvie? And what if that school were run by a forty-something believer who needed romance in his own right? And what if their mentor talked them into making a pact to be forces for good in the world?

I wrote A Christmas Bond, taking four of my rejected heroes back to their teenage years and having them spend a Christmas at the Covenant School. Voila! Their plot lines didn’t even have to be tweaked much to make it work. I rewrote madly, added cell phones and GPS technology, and had the boys form the Sacred Bond brotherhood, sealed with a tattoo.

I can’t tell you how exciting it is to watch my old, beloved manuscripts take off as the Sacred Bond series! I’d be honored if you’d check out book one, His Baby Bond, which is free on all platforms. And I’ll give away book two, The Bride’s Broken Bond, to a random commenter today, so jump in and share your own rejection-to-success story!


Lee Tobin McClain read Gone With The Wind in the third grade and has been an incurable romantic ever since. When she not writing emotional, faith-infused love stories with happy endings, she’s probably driving around a carload of snarky teen girls, playing with her rescue dog and cat, or teaching aspiring writers in Seton Hill University’s MFA program. She is probably not cleaning her house.



Connect with Lee: 



Romance between enemies  . . .
War hero John Moretti sees the delinquent boys he mentors as the sons he never had, and he wants to give them every opportunity to reform. Crime victim Annie Bauer views them as dangerous threats to her elderly grandma, who lives next door to the boys’ residential school. When the Baby Jesus is stolen from Grandma’s yard nativity scene, the boys’ potential involvement may send them straight to hard-core juvie, and break the fragile connection that’s building between Annie and John. Until the so-called delinquents join together to make a sacred bond . . .

His Baby Bond: Sacred Bond Series Book 1
Poor-but-proud Kendra Forrester doesn’t need an arrogant millionaire to tell her how to raise her sister’s baby. But when handsome Zeke King arrives at her Colorado cabin demanding custody of his brother’s child, strategy dictates that she let him stick around. Battling mountain weather and the baby’s illness brings these two opposites together, but their own insecurities, their dead siblings’ secrets, and a jealous former boyfriend threaten their tentative bond. Only the Lord and the Sacred Bond Brotherhood can help Kendra and Zeke form a family for their baby.

The Bride's Broken Bond: Sacred Bond Series Book 2
As the wedding music starts playing, poor little rich girl Hope DeMille learns that her husband-to-be loves someone else, but her domineering, high-society father won’t let her back out of the expensive wedding he’s funded. Enter Rock Anderson, a former inner-city kid mentored by Hope’s parents, who’s always wanted Hope. After helping Hope escape, Rock gets her a job at his urban mission and helps her find meaning in her life. But when Hope’s powerful father seeks revenge and one of the inner-city kids goes missing, it’ll take the best efforts of the Sacred Bond brotherhood to help this opposite-sides-of-the-tracks couple overcome their differences and commit to love.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Author Marketing Tips Before Book Launch

Iola Goulton, owner of Christian Editing Services, asked me to participate in a book launch case study where authors talk about what marketing they did prior to launch, how they did it, what help they got from their publishers, and what they would or wouldn't do next time. To read about my launch of The Land Uncharted, follow this link to Christian Editing...


Monday, November 17, 2014

Guest Post: Author Regina Tittel

Hello everyone! I'm Regina Tittel, author of The Ozark Durham Series. My writing career started as a desire to serve the Lord on a larger scale. I was already homeschooling our two children but knew I had more to offer.

I remember telling the Lord, “I’m very happy with the job of homeschooling the kids, but I feel I can do more.”

So he gave me the gift of writing. I didn’t catch on right away. I had to be corrected a lot in a writer’s group. I joined ACFW, but I was willing to be criticized for the sake of His calling. Because through my books God is able to help women understand Him as their Heavenly Father even when they’ve lacked an earthly example (Unexpected Kiss), He opens the eyes of chosen readers to those hurting overseas (Cherished Stranger), and still, teaches others how to pray (Devoted Mission).

When this first started, I wasn’t passionate about writing. In fact, I never thought I could. However, I was passionate about communicating God’s desire and love for His people. Thus, through the gift of writing, I’m able to do that and receive spiritual fulfillment.

If you’ve been restless in your walk with the Lord or perhaps don’t know what your gifted area might be, then take David’s advice in Psalms 4:4, “… commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.” Search your heart to find out what you enjoy doing most. What are you passionate about? Share with God your desire to serve Him then ask how He can use your passion to further His kingdom.

Thanks for stopping by Keely’s blog. Your support to writers like us keeps us encouraged. Please feel free to leave a comment or question you might have. I hope I’ve inspired some of you to take that step you’ve been wanting to, or maybe I’ve helped clarify something you’ve been contemplating. Either way, it’s been a joy to share with you!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


 Thank you, Regina!

Check out some of Regina Tittel's books:




Connect with Regina Tittel
Website | Facebook | Twitter


Guest Blogger Regina Tittel grew up outside a small rural community in S.E. Missouri with an older sister, and a younger sister and brother. With parents fully dedicated to one another and God, she describes her childhood as idyllic. With a couple dogs, a cat or two and several horses to cover their sixty acres, she was blessed with a creative atmosphere . . . but never imagined becoming a writer.
 
It wasn't until after the birth of her second child that she began to devote herself to her first novel. What started as a drive in the country, spurred the makings of the first volume of The Ozark Durham Series, Abandoned Hearts.  

Regina still resides in S.E. Missouri with her husband and their two daughters, one dog, several chickens and a couple of bunnies.




Friday, November 14, 2014

How To Set Up a Blog Tour

Today I'm writing over at Combined Book Exhibit's new CBE Author site. CBE Author offers free marketing advice and DIY tutorials for authors. I wrote about my experience setting up a blog tour. Read more here: CBE Author

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Uncharted Redemption ~ Book Two in the Uncharted series

I have an advance copy of Uncharted Redemption on my shelf! It's the second book in the Uncharted series.

Here is the blurb:

Levi Colburn, resentful of his father, haunted by his mother’s tragic death, and pained by his love for the unattainable Mandy Foster, breaks from the Land’s tradition and begins to build a life of his own. When rebels tear through the village of Good Springs, Levi vows to deliver justice and restore the woman he loves. As tradition stands in the way of redemption and threats from the outside world begin to appear, Levi must learn his greatest battles cannot be fought with his fists. Romantic, suspenseful, and filled with adventure, Uncharted Redemption weaves dramatic new layers into life in the Land.

You can download a 20% sample in EPUB and MOBI ebook formats here: Smashwords

Or add Uncharted Redemption to your To Be Read shelf here: Goodreads

Pre-order links will be live soon!

Friday, November 7, 2014

There is a Time for Everything


There is a Bradford Pear tree living in a tiny swath of soil in the middle of the paved parking lot in front of my building. I can see this pitiful tree from my desk, and I call it pitiful because it is currently blooming... in November. This isn't new. It has bloomed out of season every year for the past six years.

Confused and excited bees swarm the ill-timed white blossoms. People point at it as they park beneath it. The tree is living and doing what it was made to do, but it is not doing it in time with nature and it is, therefore, to be pointed at and given strange looks and pitied.

See, there is a time for everything. The writer of Ecclesiastes penned that thousands of years ago. There is a time for fruit trees to produce fluffy white flowers and there is a time for its leaves to blaze with the colors of fall.

I understand the pitiful little tree because I have been that unseasonable tree.

There is a time to remodel a house. There is a time to go back to school. There is a time to have babies. There is a time to start a business and buy a new car and write a novel. But those times are not at the same time. It took me most of my twenties to figure that out.

How about you? Are you trying to do the right thing but at the wrong time? Or are you trying to do everything at once and therefore fail to do anything? Think of the tree with frostbitten blossoms, my friend, and do what is right in this season.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Uncharted Redemption

Are you loving The Land Uncharted and wondering what happens next? Uncharted Redemption, the second book in the Uncharted series, will be popping up for pre-order on bookseller sites soon! I adore the cover art and can't wait to show it to you, but in keeping with book release tradition, we bloggers are doing the cover reveal thing together in January. 

Here is a little about the book:

Title: Uncharted Redemption
Author: Keely Brooke Keith
Release Date:  February 24, 2015
Publisher: Edenbrooke Press
Description: Levi Colburn, resentful of his father, haunted by his mother’s tragic death, and pained by his love for the unattainable Mandy Foster, breaks from the Land’s tradition and begins to build a life of his own. When rebels tear through the village of Good Springs, Levi vows to deliver justice and restore the woman he loves. As tradition stands in the way of redemption and threats from the outside world begin to appear, Levi must learn his greatest battles cannot be fought with his fists. Romantic, suspenseful, and filled with adventure, Uncharted Redemption weaves dramatic new layers into life in the Land.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Land Uncharted Released Today!


The Land Uncharted

Summary:
Lydia Colburn is a young physician dedicated to serving her village in the Land, a landmass in the South Atlantic Ocean undetectable to the outside world. When injured fighter pilot Connor Bradshaw’s parachute carries him from the war engulfing the 2025 world to her hidden land, his presence threatens her plans, her family, and the survival of her preindustrial society. As Connor searches for a way to return to his squadron, his fascination with life in the Land makes him protective of Lydia and her peaceful homeland, and Lydia’s attraction to Connor stirs desires she never anticipated. Written like a historical, set like a scifi, and filled with romance, The Land Uncharted weaves adventure and love in this suspenseful story of a hidden land.


Available Now:



Have your ebook of The Land Uncharted signed via Authorgraph!

Advance Praise for The Land Uncharted:

"Not only is Keely's writing beautiful and full of vivid detail, but the story and characters are incredible! I love the way she crosses genres and how well it all blends together.” 
-Christina Yother, author of Reverie

The Land Uncharted captured my interest from the opening lines. Keely Brooke Keith skillfully weaves an engaging story that explores the possibilities of a simple, peaceful existence in a society set apart from a world ravaged by conflict. Equal parts suspense and romance, this debut novel is a compelling read.” 
-Heidi McCahan, author of Unraveled


Author links:

Add The Land Uncharted to your shelf on Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, or FictFact.



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Guest Post by Author Al Cedeno: On Fathering and Fiction


Daddy, Let Me Tell This One
by Alfred Cedeno

For my two and four-year-old daughters, potty time often becomes story time. Well, a lot of times do, but potty time often has a captive audience. My two-year-old will shout, “tell me a story, daddy.” Story-telling is kind of my thing, but according to my four-year-old, I’m not the best one in the room.

“Daddy!” she interjects, “Let me tell it. I tell much better stories. Let me tell this one…”

Other than the obvious, “Hey that’s rude response,” I can’t help but be proud a bit. She does tell one heckuva a story. And there is nothing better than to see your daughter passionate—using her imagination to create a tale for her little sister to enter some new, wonderful world. Even if the big game is on, and it’s 9:00 PM, and you’re somehow sitting in a bathroom rather than in front of a TV.

Being a dad and a writer is a challenge. Hemingway famously said, “Writing is at best a lonely life.” It has to be, right. It takes hours of fingers tracing keys to compose something worthwhile. But the challenge isn’t dealing with loneliness. The challenge is discipline. It’s the challenge of the circus juggler. How do I keep this chainsaw in the air? How do I write something beautiful, something complex and new that exudes goodness and truth while grading hundreds of pages of papers and being interrupted because “I’m scared,” or “I have to go potty,” or “will you read this book to me, daddy?”

Then an even worse feeling arises—how am I seeing this little girl as the interruption. Is my writing worth it?

“What are you doing dad?” they ask.

“Well, I’m working.”

“What are you working on?”

How do I explain that I’m crafting a 300-page novel about a notorious Latino poet who crawls from an alternate universe into heaven?

“Well, sweet-heart, I’m writing a book.”

And right there is when the guilt arrives. Moms aren’t the only ones. Daddy guilt is alive and well in my house.

Tonight, I was home with a sick kid on a Friday night. My wife was at church with a group we co-lead. It’s hard not to slip into the idea that my kids are an obligation that I can’t wait to be finished with, so I can write or work. I’ll get them to sleep, so I can do something important, so I can publish another novel, so I can maybe make some cash or a name for myself, so I can…

But then we started having fun. Too much fun, ice cream right before bed. Hilarious jokes. Singing, dancing. I felt a little guilty. They’re going to not fall asleep, and Ellie has a cold, and I gave them ice cream, and I have work to do.

But that’s not what fathering is. It’s not something to rush through or feel guilty about sacrificing other parts of life for. What I’ve been learning is that I need to engage more in both fathering and fiction. I believe God wants me to do both. Maybe my writing dreams will come true. Maybe not. Maybe I’ll say something worthwhile.

But either way, I think God might see me just like my daughter telling a story to my brothers and sisters.  Maybe rather than feeling guilty, I should feel God smiling on me, his son who is clumsily tinkering with tropes. Daddy, I’m a really good storyteller. Let me tell this one…



About the Author:
Alfred Cedeno believes human beings are made of three parts: saint, sinner, and robot. He explores all three in his fiction. When he isn’t writing fiction, he teaches high school literature and writing, watches Doctor Who with his wife, and plays the types of imaginary games that a father of toddler girls plays—that is to say he is often the king of a castle. He primarily writes about the fictional poetic star Rey Pescador, and his equally famous friends, The Genius Brigade. He began blogging about these characters in 2006. His novel The Resurrection of Rey Pescador chronicles Rey Pescador’s search for meaning and adventure in a metal world that has forgotten both.



Al Cedeno's Recent Release:


The Resurrection of Rey Pescador
by Alfred Cedeno

Book Description:

His meteoric rise and fall are legendary, but Rey Pescador's greatest adventure remained a mystery.

Until now.

When David Rosario finally confronts his absurd past, he composes a series of tall tales and love letters that both chronicle Rey Pescador's tenure as the world's most famous man and finally confess his love to the mysterious Rebecca.

David's one-sided feud with Rey, his cousin and best friend, humorously catapults this adventure across continents and worlds.

It shatters genres in its wake.

Believing that even post-modern life is filled with mythical elements and that common robot fights contain deep significance, Rey Pescador seeks an artistic escape from an undying, scientific world. In the process, he becomes America's most beloved anachronism.

From his first public invocation of the muse to his spontaneous bout with an imposing heavy-weight in Madison Square Garden, his performances transcend reality. In the wake of an unexpected decline in popularity, Rey's manager promises fame beyond his imagination.

But at what cost?



 The Resurrection of Rey Pescador 
available for purchase:





Saturday, September 20, 2014

Add The Land Uncharted To Your Shelf


Got an online bookshelf?

You can now add The Land Uncharted to your shelf on Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, or FictFact.








The Land Uncharted
by Keely Brooke Keith

Release Date: October 21, 2014

Book Description:
Lydia Colburn is a young physician dedicated to serving her village in the Land, a landmass in the South Atlantic Ocean undetectable to the outside world. When injured fighter pilot Connor Bradshaw’s parachute carries him from the war engulfing the 2025 world to her hidden land, his presence threatens her plans, her family, and the survival of her preindustrial society. As Connor searches for a way to return to his squadron, his fascination with life in the Land makes him protective of Lydia and her peaceful homeland, and Lydia’s attraction to Connor stirs desires she never anticipated. Written like a historical, set like a scifi, and filled with romance, The Land Uncharted weaves adventure and love in this suspenseful story of a hidden land.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Reliance by Christina Yother (Hollow Hearts #2)

Reliance
By Christina Yother
Available October 7, 2014

Two strangers. One clandestine wedding. Many hidden stories.

The second book in the Hollow Hearts series by Christina Yother is coming out next month and I am so excited! I loved the first book, Reverie, and just looking at this beautiful cover makes me ready to return to Hollow!


Here is the official book description:

Discouraged by his limited prospects and tired of trying to find a bride in a traditional manner, Elias Wheeler places an advertisement requesting a mail-order bride and mother for his young daughter. Rebecca Malone, eager to escape an abusive past, travels to Montana to become Elias’s wife despite only exchanging a few letters. Learning to care for one another proves easy; learning to trust proves much more difficult. Elias and Rebecca must navigate the waters of blending families while learning to depend on one another with confidence, loving support, and faith. Together they must learn to rely on each other and what they hope to build while accepting that perfection isn’t the goal--love is.




Connect with Christina:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Project #ReadandStayWarm

I'm happy to help The Combined Book Exhibit promote Project #ReadandStayWarm. Here's what they have to say about this initiative:

ReadandStaywarmsnowmanIn the midst of the August heat, keeping warm this winter is probably the last thing on most people's minds. But the reality is, "for the now nearly 15% of Americans living in poverty, a warm winter coat is a budget “extra”, and an estimated 671,850 Americans experience homelessness on any given night." (source) That's why we're excited to announce a new initiative starting this fall at the Pennsylvania Library Association conference in Lancaster, PA, to help donate coats to those in need.

In hopes of helping others keep warm this winter, The Combined Book Exhibit is launching project #ReadandStayWarm . At six of our Fall and Winter library shows, CBE will be collecting new and lightly used coats for those who need them most. Below please find a schedule of the shows where CBE will be taking donations, and please help spread the word on twitter, FB and any social media you have by using #ReadandStayWarm .




* Please note, all coats donated at ALAMW will go towards our second Fall/Winter 2015-2015 campaign.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Coming soon: The Land Uncharted by Keely Brooke Keith

Okay, so this post is about my book, The Land Uncharted, which will be released October 21, 2014. I'm so excited. Excited and terrified and hopeful and nervous.

While I'm doing all the marketing stuff they say to do, I'm a private person and an introvert, so I daily have a what-am-I-doing moment. The truth is: I could not do this without the army of supportive friends God has blessed me with. They listen to my doubts and quell my fears, they brainstorm with me, they let me help them too, and sometimes they make amazing graphics about my book that totally rock my face off. Example:



Seriously! How cool is that? Thank you, Claribel!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Guest Post by Author RJ Thesman: Hope for Caregivers through the Reverend G Series


When I coach writers, I often remind them, “Nonfiction tells the facts, but fiction shows the truth."

That quote has become reality as my mother’s Alzheimer’s disease progresses. Mom is now approximately five years into the disease and she is experiencing the second level – what I call – The Intermission.

By writing a fictional series about Reverend G, a gutsy woman minister who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I have been able to share the truth about this horrid disease. It sneaks up on families and before they know it they are living within a nightmare of confusion, regressive behaviors and the sadness of a parent who no longer knows who they are.

Within the novels, I’ve tried to include some ideas for caregivers, ways they can learn to cope with what is happening to their loved ones. Often, readers email me to express gratitude or to agree with me about a particular experience that Reverend G goes through.

“Yes, that happened to my mom. How did you know?”

“I agree with you. It doesn’t help to argue with an Alzheimer’s patient. They win every time.”

“It hurts so much that my dad no longer knows my name.”

Because Alzheimer’s is such a tragic disease that affects entire families, I’ve also included humorous stories and characters within the book, including a cat who serves as part of the staff at Cove Creek Assisted Living. By including some of the lighter stories, my readers can deal with what is happening to Reverend G and also, hopefully, find some humor in the situations they are dealing with.

My main goal is to encourage caregivers, so I hope that comes through in these novels. Because fiction shows the truth, I hope that families who deal with Alzheimer’s can find encouragement within the life of Reverend G.

RJ Thesman
 

Intermission for Reverend G 
by RJ Thesman
Blurb: Three months after a fire ripped through Cove Creek Assisted Living Facility, repairs are complete, but even as Reverend G and her cat, Gabriel move back into their apartment, the retired pastor realizes life just isn’t the same. She continues to minister to her fellow residents — the widower who reads the same book over and over and the woman who waits by the front door for the family who never arrives. Even Gabriel is back at work, making his rounds and forecasting death. But while Reverend G is able to find the words to conduct a funeral service, anticipates the birth of her first grandchild and plans her future with her beloved, Chris, she battles her worsening Alzheimer’s symptoms — memory loss, paranoia, anger and fear. Now, her worst nightmare seems to be coming true. God hasn’t spoken to her in weeks. Has Reverend G lost her connection with God?




The Unraveling of Reverend G
by RJ Thesman
Blurb: When Reverend G hears the devastating diagnosis—dementia with the possibility of early-onset Alzheimer’s—she struggles with the pain of forgetting those she loves and the fear of losing her connection with God. With the help of her friends at the assisted living facility, Bert, a farmer from Oklahoma, Roxie, the stressed-out activities director and Gabriel, a cat with the gift of forecasting death, she soon discovers there’s humor to be found in forgetting part of the Lord’s Prayer, finding her iron in the freezer and losing a half-gallon of ice cream. And she discovers that while the question she wants to ask is, ‘Why,’ the answer really is, ‘Who.’ 

The Unraveling of Reverend G at Amazon





RJ Thesman has been a writer since she flipped open her Red Chief tablet and scribbled her first story. After writing 4 non-fiction books and almost 500 articles, she woke up one day with a novel in her head. That novel became "The Unraveling of Reverend G." She enjoys teaching writing workshops and helping writers birth their words. She is a certified life coach, works as a writing coach and as a coach for women who are Starting Over Single. She is the mother of an adult son, and she enjoys reading, gardening and cooking - especially anything with blueberries. Thesman lives in the heart of Kansas with her son and an elderly cat.

Connect with Author RJ Thesman

 

Friday, August 1, 2014

But What If?

We spend a lot of mental energy worrying, don’t we? Life can seem like a series of problems, challenges and disasters. Whether a glass half full or half empty kind of person, we all dwell on our circumstances and make a mental playbook, rehearsing our reactions for every possible outcome.

What would happen if during that first worried thought after the doctor confirms the cancer, after you open the rejection letter, after the judge sides with the plaintiff, or the spouse says it’s overwhat if somehow in that moment you knew for a fact everything would be fine? What if in the middle of your current circumstance, you somehow knew the surgery would cure the cancer, you would get into grad school, the debt would be paid, forgiveness would come?

What if your 90-year-old self came back in time and told you the thing you most fear will never happen and something wonderful will happen? Or the current circumstance that seems so awful will one day be the thing you are most grateful for?

Would you think different thoughts?

Would you live today any differently?

Would you treat people better?

Would you treat yourself better?

God’s got this. Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Trust Him.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cover Reveal: THE LEGACY by Necole Ryse

The Legacy
by Necole Ryse

Summary: 

Nineteen-year-old Raevyn Jones has never worn a designer gown. She's never had access to unlimited champagne or chauffeured limo rides. But when she is dropped in the midst of the Black Ivy League—against her will—she has to pretend that everything is normal, as if she belongs. When her new friends start to question her sketchy past and her shaky legacy at Benjamin Wallace Fitzgerald University, Raevyn realizes she will have to rely on her street smarts more than ever before. Raevyn starts to receive cryptic text messages and emails from an anonymous sender and she soon discovers that not only does someone want her to leave B.W.Fitz--someone also wants to end her life.









Available now!




Connect with Necole Ryse 


About the author:

Necole Ryse graduated from Towson University with Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications. Bored with life as an adult, Necole decided to follow her dreams to write fiction and she hasn't looked back. She enjoys chocolate covered pretzels, Criminal Minds marathons, and all things Harry Potter.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Guy on a Buffalo

Welcome new blog followers!

I'm an author currently in the thick of getting my first book published. I blog here about that journey. While I'm working hard on my own books, I feature other books here, too. Since there are so many great authors releasing books, I host as many as I can during their "blog tours". Often, these posts have giveaways for you to enter, so it's fun for everyone. Occasionally, I step away from all things literary and show a video.

Take a break and enjoy: Guy on a Buffalo, Episode 1



Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Street Teams for Caregivers by guest author Linda Brendle

Street Teams for Caregivers 
A guest post by author Linda Brendle

When Keely graciously invited me to be a guest on her blog, I looked around her site to get the lay of the land, so to speak. Her tab labeled “Street Team” immediately caught my eye. The term was unfamiliar to me, but it was the second time in a week I had run across it, so I did some research.

Wikipedia defines a street team as a group of people who are used as a promotional tool, hitting the streets—or the Internet—to promote an event or a product—or a book. Street teams for authors love good books and agree to talk, tweet and post about them. They post teasers, pictures, links, and reviews on social media sites, and sometimes they receive perks like mugs, T-shirts, posters, or discounts on purchasing more books.

While I have received lots of support for my book, I don’t have an organized street team. I began thinking what that team might look like. Many of my supporters are relatives, friends, and fellow authors, but many of them are caregivers. Caregivers are usually pulled in several directions at once as they try to balance a life that is already too full, so I couldn’t imagine they would have time to add book promotion to their to-do lists. From there, I began to wonder what a street team for caregivers would look like.

Team Caregiver would be made up of people who love others, especially caregivers. These people would agree to keep in touch with the caregiver by phone, text, email, cards, and visits. Instead of receiving perks, they might offer them—a small I’m-thinking-of-you gift, a batch of homemade cookies, or a casserole for dinner. Other offerings might be gifts of service like mowing the lawn or helping with housekeeping duties. Most of all, they would offer their time, visiting with the “caree” while the caregiver goes for a walk or to a movie.

A street team can be a great asset to an author, but experience has taught me that a group of loving supporters is vital for a caregiver.


About the Author:
Head Shot 1 (editor's favorite) photo credit--ConstanceAshley.comAfter 15 years as a family caregiver, Linda began writing to encourage, inspire and amuse other caregivers. She loves to travel and since retiring has traveled mostly by motorcycle and RV. She and her husband live in a small East Texas town where she gardens, writes and attends church.

Author Links: Author Website | Twitter | Goodreads







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Release Date: July 1st, 2014
Buy Links: Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Amazon 

Synopsis:
Sometimes reality really bites. Alzheimer’s has wrapped Mom’s brain into knots, vascular dementia has attacked Dad, and, instead of carefree retirees, we have become caregivers. Regardless, dreams die hard, and we somehow stumbled into the purchase of a forty-foot motor home. That’s when all four of us set out on this seven-week trek across sixteen U.S. states. Now, Dad stopped-up the toilet again, Mom wet her last pair of clean jeans, and David just announced that he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn't going to be the easygoing retirement we’d imagined for ourselves.

Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving. Whether you’re looking for an inspirational story to help teach you how to “let go and let God,” considering becoming the caregiver for one of your own parents, or are just looking for an entertaining travel book, this story is sure to strike a tender nerve.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Cover Reveal and Pre-order: The Resurrection of Rey Pescador by Alfred Cedeno


I rarely jump in and give my two cents on cover reveals, but this cover rocks my face off! It's beautiful and truly merch-worthy. I'd gladly blow my babysitting money on a Rey Pescador poster, lunchbox and Trapper Keeper folder. Wouldn't you?

The Resurrection of Rey Pescador
by Alfred Cedeno 


Blurb:  

His meteoric rise and fall are legendary, but Rey Pescador's greatest adventure remained a mystery.

Until now.

When David Rosario finally confronts his absurd past, he composes a series of tall tales and love letters that both chronicle Rey Pescador's tenure as the world's most famous man and finally confess his love to the mysterious Rebecca.

David's one-sided feud with Rey, his cousin and best friend, humorously catapults this adventure across continents and worlds.

It shatters genres in its wake.

Believing that even post-modern life is filled with mythical elements and that common robot fights contain deep significance, Rey Pescador seeks an artistic escape from an undying, scientific world. In the process, he becomes America's most beloved anachronism.

From his first public invocation of the muse to his spontaneous bout with an imposing heavy-weight in Madison Square Garden, his performances transcend reality. In the wake of an unexpected decline in popularity, Rey's manager promises fame beyond his imagination.

But at what cost?

Available for Pre-order now: The Resurrection of Rey Pescador 
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Winslet Press

Monday, May 26, 2014

My Writing Process

My Writing Process
Thank you, Megan Easley-Walsh, for inviting me to participate in the My Writing Process Blog Project. Let's get to the questions!

What are you working on? 
I’m currently writing Uncharted: Inheritance, the third book in the Uncharted series, which is commercial scifi with a romantic bent. The first book of the series, The Land Uncharted, will be released in the fall of 2014. The second book of the series, Uncharted: Redemption, is complete.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?
My stories are technically commercial science fiction since they are set in an imaginary world ruled by actual science, not myth, but they aren’t the aliens and spaceships kind of scifi. The Uncharted series is different than most scifi in that it has a rural, pre-civil war feel due to the setting and culture. And finding love is a prominent theme in this series.

Why do you write what you do?
I write in general because I must. I’ve gone days without writing, but they weren’t my best days. So many writers say writing is their outlet, and while that’s true for me, it’s an outlet like my windpipe is an outlet—it’s also an inlet and the force behind my voice and life would feel suffocating without it.

I write fiction because my imagination is constantly coming up with ways to make every situation and setting and detail in life more adventurous, and I thrive on taking those what-ifs and weaving them into stories. I love the challenge of writing original stories that not only give the reader a this-could-happen feeling, but also provide an entertaining escape. I love people and relationships and the exquisite torment of new adult life, so I like to let my characters work through the usual coming-of-age struggles but in speculative settings with complications we don’t encounter everyday.

Underneath it all, I write because I want to encourage, entertain, inspire, uplift, and engage the reader.

How does your writing process work?
I’m a mix of plotter and pantster. I can easily outline a novel in one day, but then the ideas for details and scenes and dialogue and mood and characters pop into my head faster than I can write. Not only do I write fiction about 40-50 hours a week, I’m also a working musician, a homeschool mom, and I help my husband with his business, so I have pens and notebooks and sticky notes in every room of the house. When I get to sit at the computer, I compile all those notes into my outline and start the first draft. While writing the story I’ll get more ideas and the story may go in a new and better direction than I first imagined. Sometimes, I’ll wake up at 4AM and my first thought is a plot twist that ends up defining the story.

The first draft is simply me telling myself the story. I try not to get bogged down in research at that point. My first drafts usually end up being 70% of the final word count. Next, I’ll go through the story, do the research, and fill in all the details to bring it to life. After 4-5 more times through the story, I’ll send it to a couple beta readers. When I get their comments back, I’ll revise, edit, tweak, edit some more, and then send it to a few more beta readers. And while that story is out to my betas, I work on something else so that when I revisit it, I can see it more clearly. Then I edit using a stack of editing checklists I’ve compiled from books and blogs on writing and my editors’ notes. Finally, I’ll give it a couple more read-throughs and when I simply cannot stand to look at it one more time, I know it’s ready.




Next up:


Emily Ungar is the author of the upcoming middle grade release Liberty Belle (Anaiah Press). Emily is a graduate of Indiana University, where she majored in journalism. After living in seven different U.S. states by the time she finished college, she now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her husband and very curious twin toddlers. When she isn’t chasing after her twin boys, Emily loves to curl up in a chaise lounge with a book in one hand and a lemon cupcake in the other. Emily loves connecting with her readers, so she welcomes you to say hi on her blog at www.emilyungar.com.




Jelsa Mepsey is a young adult author whose debut novel Second Chance will be released soon. A full-time college student by day, she is also a research assistant in a personality lab, a worship leader at church and in her campus ministry, and a mother to her beloved dog Waffles. When she isn’t naming her pens after Bible characters or rock climbing, Jelsa can be found stabbing her work with a red pen or attempting to longboard down dangerous hills.






Be sure to check their blogs June 9, 2014 for their contributions to the My Writing Process Blog Project.