Tag Archives: blogger.

YA Treasure Hunt and FB Birthday Party

I’m so glad you’re thinking of joining the fun!

If you love YA reads, from fantasy to urban adventure, you’re in the right place. If you enjoy free books, even better. And if you crave adventure without smut, you’re on your way!

Not to mention finding new friends and fascinating characters, from authors, terrifying villains, tough heroes, and scrappy heroines to prizes galore!

This Tuesday, May 31st, 2016, join 14 YA authors, Indie and Traditionally published, from 2:00 to 10:00 pm Eastern time, or 11:00 am to 7:00 pm Pacific (my time). Click here for the party on May 31st!

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Falcon’s Ode: a gift for visitors, reviewers, and readers

 

Falcon's Ode Final Lyric 1_edited-1

Falcon’s Ode, 1st of 10 lyrics, a poem which Kyrin created for her falcon, Samson, in Falcon Flight, sequel to Falcon Heart

This is my gift to my visitors, readers, and reviewers. You are the best! Especially recently, this is for my reviewers Julia, Ember, and Candace. Thank you so much for the reviews!

This will be the only lyric on my blog. But I will be adding another lyric almost daily to my Reader’s Swag page here, until 5/13/16, when Falcon Flight releases. This Ode is for everyone. Share, steal, squeal at will, pin and let all in! LOL 

Please just add the link back so that others can find it.

Thank you, and enjoy the adventure! 

Azalea Dabill

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The YA Fantasy Reader’s Oath

YA fantasy, adventure, reader's oath

Adventure into new worlds . . .
Steal this graphic I made with a free photo from Unsplash–just link back–thanks!

Or a Manifesto of Ten Things YA Fantasy Readers Do Know

  1. We will never give up our loyalty to a good story well told
  2. We will not agree Fantasy is evil. A good fantasy is a breath of life. (In it I see things I see nowhere else. Not that facet of truth, that piercing beauty that tells me there is more beyond)

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2016 March YA Fantasy Blog Letter

Well, I’m getting on to adventure.

Journey beginning . . .

Journey beginning . . .

First, a bit of news:

I’m excited and just wanted to encourage you all that our fans really appreciate us taking time to talk to them.

Yesterday I emailed Rachel Neumeier of the Griffin Mage trilogy, The Floating Islands, etc., asking to order a signed copy of her new book Keeper of the Mist that is coming out for my book giveaway that Derek is helping me set up. *Giveaway coming soon.*

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The Ultimate Self Publisher’s Resource Guide review

Not quite what I thought, but still good. I give it three stars.

At first look I thought the Self Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide was a tome inches thick. (I did not pay too much attention to the description since I’d been pleased with my experience as Joel Friedlander’s customer and blog follower before.) So I was a little dismayed when he asked for a review of his and Betty Kelly Sargent’s book within about a week.

Still, I had signed up, and was determined to do my best to keep my word to give a review of this giant resource for Indie writers. The contents looked extensive. I began reading.

On the one hand I was pleasantly surprised that the topics were flashing by, but wondering on the other if this resource was all the title touted it to be.

I finished the last section on consumer protection agencies. I was disappointed. I had mistakenly thought this was more than a generic index of resources. A place to begin. The Ultimate Guide, I felt, should have more advice and how-to.

But there are many books and blogs, etc., on how-to methods, with endless advice. In fact, the Guide lists many of them. These resources put the ball in my hands and spread the park before me. That is a good place to begin.

There are numerous links in each resource field, and the Guide states that it is a beginning. More information will be added. On top of this, the resources listed are relatively time-tested and customer vetted. This is invaluable.

How many sites have you gone to looking for info on a subject, and come up with info or a company you wished had a track record? An easily accessible record, made by people like you, entrepreneurs with roughly your experience and goals? Many times. If you’re new like me. I have not personally tried and tested these resources, but I’m willing to bet Joel and Betty have done good background checks.

This Guide is especially useful for the beginner. Just don’t stop here. Despite its name, no book can contain all the resources in the world. Many are developing, imploding, or being created at this moment. If you need resources, Indie entrepreneur, search out these and then bravely go beyond. But keep the Ultimate Guide on the shelf for reference.

All the best to you on your journey. Search and try: fail, search, try again. Succeed. Never give up.

One note to the Guide’s formatters: it would be nice if you would add a little more space between listings. It’s slightly hard to read and keep track of my place on the page. Thank you.

Also, I have been given a free ebook version in return for my honest review, though I would pay $8 to own the Guide. It might have saved me a half-year of research time when I started my writing and editing journey. And I may have need of a cover designer soon. 🙂

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Guest: Land of My Dreams, Norma Gail Thurston Holtman

Change in Plans

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9

The tiny bundle placed in my arms was warm and sweet, the answer to years of prayers, heartache and uncertainty. My husband and I stood in the chapel at the adoption agency with tears of joy in our eyes as we looked at our son. The day of delayed flights and rushing through airports was a microcosm of the turmoil of tests, surgeries, and years of waiting.

Four long years of hoping for a child were over, culminating in the joy of a three-week-old baby boy, wide awake and somehow aware that his world was changing forever. He looked around, taking everything in. A sensitive, reflective child, he has always had a tender heart and gentle spirit.

Twenty-one months later, a phone call during the Super Bowl brought us a baby girl who has never ceased to bring excitement into our lives. Arriving two years earlier than we thought possible, becoming an amazing athlete and never slowing down once, she never fails to surprise us.

My husband and I had often talked about adoption when we were dating. We were products of the “zero-population” generation. We talked about having two children and then adopting two more. God’s plans didn’t include the biological children. He had something so much more special, a plan to show us His loving control over our circumstances, while accomplishing His perfect purposes.

As friends had two or even three children in the time it took us to have one, we learned that God’s plan is unique for each of us, but always meant to make us fall on our knees and acknowledge His loving sovereignty.

Perhaps you have seen your dreams all turn to dust and your hopes fall to the ground, nothing growing to fruition, nothing turning out the way you planned. You may carry the scars from battling disappointment and confusion about where God is leading you. It may seem He doesn’t care and has turned a deaf ear to your prayers.

When doubt and disappointment seem to follow you everywhere, turn to Jesus and lay your hopes and dreams at His feet. Commit to serve Him no matter where He is leading and He will establish a way for you that is far higher and better than anything you ever imagined.

Copyright April 16, 2012 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman. All rights reserved.

Land of My Dreams Norma blog

Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, set in Scotland and New Mexico, released in April 2014. She is a former Bible Study Fellowship discussion leader who established the first weekly women’s Bible studies in her church in 2003 and continues to lead a weekly small group. Her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She has led weekly women’s Bible studies for 19 years. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. She is a former RN and homeschool/soccer mom who loves family research, history, and Scotland. Norma lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 38 years. They have two adult children.

Norma Gail - Author

www.normagail.org

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNormaGail

https://plus.google.com/b/102717101441594679714/+Normagail/about/p/pub

http://pinterest.com/normagailth/boards/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7874459.Norma_Gail

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/norma-gail-thurston-holtman/42/71a/3b2

https://twitter.com/Norma_Gail

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Land-My-Dreams-Norma-Gail/dp/1941103170/ or

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/land-of-my-dreams-norma-gail/1119606864 ?ean=9781941103173

 

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Scop Talk: Book Cover.

Here’s something I’ve been working on this last week or so. I’ve been playing around with various comp photos and photos found on Pinterest to compile a tentative book cover mock-up for Falcon Heart. Don’t worry, I’ll be seeking the pic rights even though my sister is just going to use the mock-up for a rough model for her artwork. Then I’m hoping to get the artwork colored so it looks like a traditional fantasy book. But what I really wanted to ask you is what you think: 1) It’s been suggested that I try the falcon flying in, wings outspread, through the the center of the arch, and 2) That I have my sister shorten the sword handle because it distracts the viewer from the model’s face. What’s your opinion? Click twice on the pic to see a larger version. Thanks for your help!

Tentative Book Cover

Tentative Book Cover

 

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A Glimpse of an Adventurous Life: Success, Joyce Meyer, and never give up!

Shall mount up as eagles ...

Shall mount up as eagles …

My definition of success is to have God say to me at the end of my life, “Well done, good and faithful servant …”

What this step looks like to me right now is: supporting myself in a worthwhile career with long-term possibilities of passive income–my own pension, so to speak. I don’t want to burden anyone when I am old, and I want to be able to help others with funds.

Included in that career goal is to learn to live at His speed, relying on Him. Not getting ahead of Him and frying my energy and health, and not getting behind Him and quitting or giving up, but walking with Him; living more consciously with Him.

When I say “worthwhile career”, I also mean helping people during my journey with my books and editing and other skills. Including my time, my heart, my understanding, etc.

I just lost my non-fiction client today, rather abruptly. And I feel misunderstood and misrepresented by him. This took a large dose of patience and understanding.

He was my main source of income at the moment, and I just felt I was getting started on my goal of saving money for ISBN numbers for my books, etc. So I’ve been praying a lot, and He’s given me grace to remember this is His plan, and His grace is sufficient.

So I am moving on. A question I answered today from iBloom in Business is: what are you incompetent, competent, excellent, and brilliant at?

I’m incompetent at InDesign (for the moment), competent at editing, an excellent reader, and brilliant? I’m not sure I dare call myself brilliant at anything–isn’t it quite a subjective thing? I will say I’m brilliant at making mistakes, but I’m learning to use them as stepping stones to success. Mistakes are not permanent failure. They’re temporary learning curves on the road to the right way to do something.

The idea of not giving up in Joyce Meyer’s Never Give Up is helping me immensely with my self-employment challenges.

She says, “Mount up with wings as eagles. … We can approach a situation in which we have grown weary with fresh energy and passion … and [are] less likely to want to give up when success eludes us. One reason eagles symbolize strength is that they know how to make their strength work for them. They don’t expend their energy needlessly. … [She and her husband] eat healthily; we exercise; we drink plenty of water; and we get enough sleep. We strive to keep excess stress out of our lives and we have learned to wait on the Lord. Jesus said that the weary, the worn out, and the exhausted should come to Him (see Matthew 11:28) and He would cause them to rest.” Page 119.

I won’t give up. I plan to take five work leads with me this next week or so while I’m visiting relatives, fill out applications, etc. I will fly as He bids me.

I hope you are encouraged not to give up, and to pursue your dreams and good things with renewed strength. It will be worth it in the end. Sometimes a change of plan is needed. As long as it is not done out of defeat or quitting or fear, it is another curve on the road to success. Never give up!

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“Scop Talk”

Blog and family pics 132

Fantasy readers, what kind of fantasy do you like?

As a blogger of “Scop Talk” I go for quality story-telling. One element of a good tale is detailed world-building that assumes I am intelligent; such as C. J. Cherryth’s Foreigner,  Robin McKinley’s Deerskin and Beauty, Rose Daughter, etc. Not simplistic communication that tells and describes the character’s action both at once, and insults my comprehension. Another element is a sense of wonder at the beauties of the created world, and that man is not the end-all and be-all.

I have not found many stories that honor the Creator of our bodies and souls, but tales that attract me the most portray some kind of inkling that the characters know there is a governing power of good beyond ourselves: tales that show truth, honor, loyalty, and goodness contrasted with the deceit and monstrosity of evil and those who follow it. And that show how evil can be deceptive and appear beautiful. Dennis McKiernan’s The Iron Tower trilogy is one of these. A medieval setting adds to the fun.

And a good fantasy is never complete without a grand sense of adventure. The adventure comes in the main character’s inner journey and war, the outer journey and conflict, and the character’s choices and responses that shape the world, such as in Lisa T. Bergren’s Cascade, Waterfall, and Torrent, in her River of Time series.

Actions do matter. Motive matters even more. Fantasy is a vehicle. Good fantasy makes a difference in how I see myself and the world. It shows that the smallest person makes a difference. We matter, and matter to our Creator.

You matter to me. As I write my fantasy stories, I’d like to know what kinds of good fantasy stir you. What do you like about your favorite fantasy tales? What do you call bad fantasy, in the matter of crafting and content? Will you share some Scop Talk?

Thank you so much.

For a longer list of great fantasy reads, see my reading list on my resources page.

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure.

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